Mayo Clinic Day 4: Waiting
This morning I had an appointment with the Rheumatology department. I saw a resident who seemed to think quite highly of himself as he introduced himself: “I’m a SENIOR resident…” The way he asked leading questions proved my theory. At the end of his questioning period, he said there was no correlation with my positive ANA and any connective tissue disease. I breathed a sigh of relief. I don’t have lupus. The attending came in and followed up. He decided to test me for a couple of other disorders based on two small red spots on the inside of my hand. Blood work pending. He also said that my ANA could be positive due to the auto immune thyroid disease they found earlier this week. The attending asked me if I would be interested in participating in a study regarding patients with positive ANAs who go on to develop connective tissue diseases later in life. I agreed. They just draw a little blood and test my DNA for clues to my future health. I appreciated this attending. He was friendly, thorough, and humble (as opposed to the resident I’d seen earlier).
After Rheum, I went to get my blood drawn: The two diagnostics the Rheum physician ordered, as well as the blood for the two research studies I agreed to.
Immunology is the last specialist I need to see. My appointment is not until Monday. We went to wait to see if we could get in early. This process is known around the Clinic as “checking”. If someone cancels last minute or is a no show to their appointment they pick people that are waiting in the order you “checked” in. We waited until 2pm today until they sent us away.
Came back to the room and crashed. (Crashed right after a mini breakdown). Still frustrated the nerve block didn’t work. Still frustrated I don’t have answers to my back pain that has been plaguing me since November.
Need to look on the bright side: As mentioned before, they discovered an auto immune thyroid disease that will be of benefit for me to know earlier rather than later–before my thyroid function decreases to dangerous levels. They have discovered a severe Vitamin D deficiency which will need to not only be replaced, but also investigated further to find the reason for the problem. Immuno will undoubtedly check for more immune deficiency problems further than the one I’ve already been diagnosed with. This will surely be helpful.
I hope to get back in to Dr. Hurt (the best internist I’ve ever seen) this week. Need to get the results to my thyroid ultrasound. Also need to address the back pain. If the nerve block didn’t work and the EMG was normal, we need to look for other reasons for the severe pain.
I am still in pain from yesterday’s needle fest here at Mayo. I hope tomorrow brings more hope than today.