So apparently I’m falling apart. As my rheumatologist put it, it’s a surprise you haven’t shattered into a millions of tiny pieces that cannot be put back together again to be complete or whole. The latest episode of falling apart started with a wee twinge, just there in my thumb. Nothing overly painful, just annoying as heck when I bent my thumb or put pressure against it, which evidently is just about done with everything I do.
A few days after this annoying pain appeared I happened to have an appointment with my rheumatologist and in passing he noticed that I was having “issues” with my thumb so he asked about it. Actually he asked me why I didn’t mention anything about my thumb when he asked what was new. The truth is, given everything else that is going on and other pains that are far more noticeable, it didn’t occur to me to mention anything about the thumb. I guess I figured it would work itself out in time, which was not at all what the rheumatologist thought was the smart thing to do. He insisted on something called x-rays.
He never mentioned to me why he wanted x-rays done, just insisted I walk over to the x-ray clinic immediately and have them done. He actually walked me over there with the requisition in his hand. Probably because he knew that if he left it up to me to do after my appointment with him, I’d never bother getting them done. So he walked me over, handed in my requisition and waited for the results. Results which showed exactly what the thought he would see – lovely fractures – and something I had not considered. (Then again I did not go to medical school, although having a chronic illness such as lupus sometimes makes me feel like I’m in a custom crash course.)
As he pushed his glasses back up he told me that we had come to a fork in the road, one where we would now have to weigh the benefits of the current treatment against the harm the medications were doing. Yes for now they are helping keep my organs safe, but at the cost of damage to my bones, which according to him, are just the beginning of the process.
He sent me home, advising me not to put pressure or weight on my thumb and to think about my options. Oh and to check my email because there would be more information coming through from him, other options to consider. I guess this is how it began for Humpty Dumpty as well.