Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Doctor, New Diagnoses

The other day, I was driving home from work and I had a sudden pain in my eye. It felt like something was in between my eye and eyelid. Something gritty, like sand. I got home and plucked my contacts out. When I looked closely at my eye, I noticed it looked irritated and there was a little "crud" gathering at the corner. I pulled the "crud out" and it turned out to be an inch long, thick strand of eye mucus.
So gross.

The next morning, I woke up and my eyelids were just about glued together thanks to the eye gunk.
The sclera of my eye was hot pink and I could see the tiny blood vessels crossing my eye and reaching out in all directions. I figured I had the contagious type of pink eye (discharge = contagious) so I called in sick (I work with special needs children) and made an appointment with my eye doctor.
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After careful examination, my eye doctor told me that I didn't have pink eye. I had "extreme dry eye" and that my body was treating the inflammation as if it were infection. I told her I had been experiencing dry eyes frequently, but not something this bad. She said, "you get dry eyes frequently? well we need to do something about that." I said, "yeah, I get dry eyes and dry mouth. I even had to have a salivary gland removed because it was gettin' all crazy." She gave me a serious look. I said, "So are you thinking I have Sjogren's?"
I knew all about Sjogren's syndrome  ever since my first co-worker was diagnosed with it a few years ago. I had another co-worker diagnosed with Sjogren's shortly thereafter.

"Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as 4 million Americans are living with this disease."Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. 
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I had to wear glasses for a week, so I took this cheesy "eye-commercialesque" selfie 

My eye doctor told me to get myself to a Rheumatologist to confirm a Sjogren's diagnosis and to see if I had Rheumatoid Arthritis, which can co-occur with Sjogren's.

But, before I could make that appointment, I had to visit a new back doctor guy. My general practitioner set me up with this new guy. After questioning and examining me, new guy dropped a bomb on me, ya'll! He said, "I don't think all of this pain is from your neck. I believe it's from your left shoulder. Let's get an MRI and a nerve conduction study to be sure."

I'm treading lightly here, not wanting to fall through the thin ice of false hope and into the frigid waters of disappointment. But, I can't help but think "what if it is my shoulder and they can fix it and then I become pain free?" Immediately after thinking such thoughts I try to stifle them. I shove them deep down as far back into my mind as they will go.

I've had my high hopes trampled on before, you see.

So now I wait for the MRI people to call me for an appointment. Ugh.,.  I am also waiting for the Nerve Conduction people to call me. I am NOT looking forward to that. I've had that done before and it was torture.

So, that's where I am right now.
Possible autoimmune disorder
Possible shoulder problems

How crazy is it that three co-workers, who spend a lot of time together, have the same autoimmune disorder? The 4th co-worker had thyroid problems (another autoimmune issue). We all drink the same, bottled water from the water cooler.

Somebody call Erin Brockovich.


Blogger Miss Bee said...

Erin Brockovich for real! So crazy. And I am also treading lightly with hopes that you'll find the answers you need to be pain free!

7:03 PM  

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