(Originally posted 9/8/2011 on soundslikeaninja.wordpress.com)
So this past month I had my oh-so-lovely 3-5 month check up with my rheumatologist.
I have never been the type to dread or avoid going to the doctors. I’ll go if I need to but I certainly don’t go unless I know something is wrong. So checkups every few months is more of an inconvenience for me than anything (Currently my rheumatologist sees me every 3 to 6 months, depending on how my past appointment has gone and how my symptoms have manifested). I happen to not be the biggest fan of my rheumatologist due to her lack of bedside manner in my case. I know it’s probably not her fault since she only sees me every few months, unlike many of her patients who she probably sees monthly or even weekly. We just haven’t had time to develop a solid doctor-patient relationship. But it certainly doesn’t help that for the first two minutes of my appointments she sits in front of me and reviews my file. Plus the last two appointments I have had she has been over half an hour late. So she hasn’t exactly been winning any points with me lately.
But back to the appointment. After I got in 30 minutes late, we had the usual review of my file and the “How have you been in the past few months?” discussion. I bought up my constant pain in my right wrist. The pain started around May or June as some stiffness but it has grown to include sharp pains depending on how I flex my wrist (it especially hurts if I fully flex my wrist backwards) or if I use the combination of my thumb and pointer finger. I’ve found the pain is mainly the worse in the morning but depending on the day, it can continue all the way into the evening. Overall my doc didn’t seem at all concerned about it, saying how she is only really concerned if the pain was sharp and constant which would be indicative of a flare-up. I can’t help and wonder if I explained my pain well enough to her. The usual dry eyes and dry mouth question was asked and as usual the answer was no. She mentioned that my pulmonary test results (lung function tests that I had done back in April) were normal. I thought this was interesting since my pulmonary technician said that I had a below average lung capacity, similar to something an asthmatic might blow if they took the same test. The technician did say this could be from me being nervous and not quite getting the hang of the test. I’m hoping to see if I can increase my lung capacity once I get back into working out. Hopefully it’s something I can improve, something I can have some semblance of control over.
We then went into the standard physical exam where she flexes all of my joints, checking for pain and of course the way she flexed my wrist didn’t hurt. Overall she deemed me to be in good form and she felt it was safe to not see me for another 5 months but as always I should call her is something comes up. I should be okay for the next few months and I’m crossing my fingers that my wrist either stays the same or gets better.
After my super fun visit with the rheumatologist I got to go and visit my friendly neighborhood phlebotomist. She took my regular batch of blood work and was a regular Chatty Cathy. The sad thing is I think I have a better relationship with my phlebotomist than my rheumatologist.
Things To Do in the Next Few Months:
1. See an optometrist to get my eyes checked out. While I’m not really concerned that my eyes are dry (since I am able to produce tears for the stupidest reasons) I do find that sometimes my eyes become blurry and I have to blink to clear them. I think it’s better to be safe then sorry and get my eyes checked while I can. Plus I haven’t had an actual eye exam in years so it would probably be good to have my vision checked out.
2. Get back to the gym. I am intrigued to see how my wrist will hold up during physical exercise. I’m hoping to get back to the gym soon, especially when life settles down a bit. I definitely want to start a lifting regiment again which would include compound lifts like squats, cleans and presses. I guess I’m concerned how my wrist is going to hold up under the weight. I am also concerned how my wrist is going to handle being in some of the positions it will need to be in to execute some of the moves. It should definitely be interesting.