This week I had ultrasound scans of my hands and feet, which I was hoping would prove my symptoms are real and in need of some decent treatment.
The scans were performed on two separate days because, apparently, Medicare doesn’t cover two hands or two feet being scanned at the same time.
And yet, one hand and one foot at the same time is perfectly acceptable (presumably, as long as said hand and foot are on the same side of the body).
My medical timeline for the week
- Easter Monday: public holiday.
- Tuesday: psychiatrist, who said I deserved a medal (things were looking brighter then); GP (to ask for separate referrals for left-side and right-side scans); radiology clinic for right-side scans.
- Wednesday: left-side scans.
- Thursday: possible collapse of toe on left foot (similar to collapsed toes on right foot).
- Friday: long appointment with GP to: 1) discuss results and make future plan of attack re arthritis/rheumatologists, and: 2) draw up a new mental health plan.
The upshot of the scans is that, apart from excess fluid, they could only see synovitis in my left foot. I think this means I’ll be “waiting and seeing” until everything finally falls apart.
Sometimes I feel like my doctors think I’m just a hypochondriac, despite the collapsing toes and swan-necking fingers. Unfortunately for me, I’m at my most inflamed in the evenings and at night: hot, red-fleshed, and hobblingly stiff. That’s when I need my examinations to take place, not during 9 am – 5 pm clinic hours.
Between all these appointments, looking after kids, resting when the pain gets too much, and trying to swallow my grief (but vomiting instead), I don’t have time for much else.
I don’t know how I’ll ever manage to get and hold down a job. Standing on my own two feet seems beyond the realm of all possibility, even with the help of my orthotics.