Monday, September 19, 2011

Going From 100 mph To a Dead Stop

a recent personal struggle has reared its ugly head and i thought i would share.  i figured maybe writing about my experience would be a form of therapy for me. additionally, i am learning that there are a lot of people going through the same thing and maybe we could learn from and help each other.

on july 14 i woke up and started my morning like i always do - sort of.  when i moved to get out of bed it was obvious something was wrong with my hands.  my fingers had swelled up and i had a difficult time removing my wedding ring.  i also had difficulty making a fist.  my first inclination was to wonder:  am i going to start my period? crap, i hope not.  then i began reviewing the previous day's meals.  did i eat too much salt? or drown myself in sodium?  
no, not that i could recall.  at the time, i decided i needed to exercise like i usually did.  i told myself i needed to get moving and i would feel better.  that was partially true.  i even commented to my girlfriend while working out that my hands were sore.  she had the same questions i did.  strange.  

for another 2 weeks, i awoke with similar symptoms.  i always felt worse in the morning and would gradually start to feel better as they day progressed.  the swelling and pain had started to affect more than my hands.  my right shoulder was sore.  my big toe, both ankles, and pads of my feet ached and had become  painful to the touch.  i had stopped exercising. i no longer jogged up to 5 miles - 4 days a week.  enough of this; i could only suck it up for so long and frankly, i was tired of the pain.  i decided to go see my doctor. besides, i had a softball tournament in las vegas coming up and i was not going to miss out on that!

thankfully, a girlfriend agreed to watch my 2 little people and i headed to my first doctor's appointment on august 1st.  my joints were still painfully sore when i went in to the see my general practitioner but i figured he would be a good place to start. the doctor checked the usual: my blood pressure (it was higher than usual), my pulse, my weight (ugh) , ears, eyes, etc and took a brief look at the joints that bothered me.  after a deep inquisition into my family history, he really had no idea what was happening.  there were so many symptoms that he needed to narrow down the playing field, so to speak.   according to him, i could have been experiencing anything from lyme disease to rheumatoid arthritis.  he prescribed celebrex to help with the inflammation, an oral antibiotic "just in case" i tested positive for lyme disease and sent me to the lab for numerous blood tests.

four days later i was on my way to las vegas with my girlfriends. honestly, i had hesitated to go on the trip. my husband and i talked about it.  i also spoke with the coach who was a close friend.  we decided i would go and have a fun trip with my friends but play only as needed and when i felt good enough to do so.  that is exactly what i did.  additionally, i made sure to make healthy food choices while i was away.   on day two of my trip my general practitioner called with my blood work results.  he normally did not give this type of information over the phone but he knew i was out of town and anxious for some information.  he advised me to stop taking the antibiotics because i had tested negative for lyme disease.  {wheww!}  he was, however concerned about a positive abnormality showing up on one of the blood tests.  i clearly remember him telling me: "now, don't freak out.  i do not want you to worry about this but a small percentage of people who test positive eventually get diagnosed with lupus." 
there it was. the bomb in my gut hit hard and heavy.  then a little voice in my head started repeating: "you are going to be fine. you are always fine. there are plenty of tests that come back with a false-positive. this is no big deal." 

my friends and i made the 4 hour drive home from las vegas on sunday, august 7.  i knew when we stopped halfway through the trip that i was in trouble.  my joints had stiffened even more.  i had difficulty getting in and out of the car.  once i arrived home, i was relieved to be with my husband and children.  i could try to relax and do my best to rest before having to go to work early the following morning.  or so i thought... the next morning proved to be the next chapter in my newest challenge.


  1. You are in my prayers Amanda! Is there anything I can do for you? ((Hugs))

  2. You WILL get through this.....and you have family and amazing friends to help you. You're on the right track and you're getting "armed" with information that will help you. I'm glad you chose to share this on your blog....xox

  3. I am thinking about you Amanada. You are an incredibly srong woman and you will get through this. Just know that your friends are here for you and you are loved by so many! Hugs!