Friday, September 16, 2011

My Autoimmune Disease

A little about me and MCTD:
In the year 2000, I belonged to a gym and had a personal trainer. At one of the training sessions, I was doing squats while holding weights, and I almost threw up. I knew something was wrong. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Is it possible that at that moment, my body had some kind of negative reaction to these squats I couldn't tolerate?  Gradually I grew very weak.
After a few doctor visits and blood tests, (including oncology hematologists) I was referred to a rheumatologist - who ordered a muscle biopsy (the first surgical procedure I ever had) and more blood tests. I was diagnosed with polymyositis. In 2000 there was only one website I could find with someone who also had polymyositis. That was my support! I was treated with prednisone, heavy doses at first then tapering off. Within a year or two I was feeling much better, but never the same. Eventually I was weaned off prednisone and would have some small flares now and then, but I considered myself very lucky.

I am now diagnosed with MCTD: polymyositis (CPK is normal but I have JO-1 antibodies w/ Interstitial Lung Disease), Sjogren's (which I tested positively for a few years but recently started Restasis) and possibly Scleroderma which my rheumy keeps on overlooking but last time I reminded him to test me for it since I have ANA - nucleolar pattern. However, I believe my ANA was fine last time, so I just googled if that can change, and indeed it can.
I have definite signs of RA, also. My knees have gone downhill the past year or so, and an MRI showed I had lots of RA in the back of my neck.  I've read that sometimes tests turn out negative when one is feeling crappy, and sometimes positive when one feels OK.   SOOOOOOOOOO frustrating.
I'm taking short term disability right now, my rheumy doesn't even know it, I asked my therapist (licensed psychologist) if he would do the forms. It's my fourth leave in 2.5 years, two were family related, the first short term disability was due to another health problem, and now. Friends are concerned about my job and most don't think this was a good idea. However, I couldn't even put in a full week without calling out sick for at least 1/2 day. I'm out of options. I don't have any sick days left, nor vacation. I used all my vacation time being sick.

No comments:

Post a Comment