We live in a world where instant gratification is expected as a birthright. Work for something? Wait for something? Deserve something? Wth… I’m here, aren’t I, with my hand out? What do you mean, that isn’t enough?
So: for the last two months or so, I’ve been on various anti-inflammatory meds, pain-killers, a course of anti-biotics, more pain-killers, more anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, ‘roids… heck, I even got given Valium. Two months. And yes, I know I have a lifetime to expect of more of the same.
I know this isn’t going to be an easy journey, but even so, it was a bit of a jolt to the system when my doc goes over my latest blood test and the ESR result (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which measures acute and chronic inflammation, including infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases). A normal score is anything between zero and 20. Mine, after two months of nonstop meds and treatment, is 38. On the plus side, that’s down from last week’s 55 (apparently, I have the steroids to thank for this).
They also did the anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody) test, which is specific to determine RA (and, from what I can gather, how bad a case you have). A normal score is anything between zero and 17.
I clocked in at 2,005.
As the doc very placidly noted, “there is no doubt that you have RA”. This is when I started laughing. Which I suppose is better than bursting into tears. It’s weird. I know it’s all real, but at the same time, it feels distant and discombobulating (I’ve always wanted to legitimately get that word into a sentence, woohoo) and like it’s happening to someone else, not me.