It all started with a bad case of hives–big, ugly, red welts all over my body. And the itch! It was MADDENING! I went to urgent care, completely at my wit’s end.
The nursing staff (who I know were very well-intentioned) immediately began freaking me out.
“Oh, my goodness. Are you taking any medication?”
“Sarah, come quick! I think we have an allergic reaction here.”
“Do you have diabetes?”
Sarah put an end to that. Sarah, by the way, is awesome.
I ended up having x-rays and getting blood work done. The x-rays were normal. I’ve seen my Primary Care Physician (PCP) three times since then and just got my lab results yesterday. Based on other symptoms I’ve been having for years, the concern was that I might have Lupus. The test results, however, did not indicate high antinuclear antibodies (ANA), so Lupus has been ruled out for now. My sedimentation rate is high, though, and doc says I have inflammation throughout my body. My official diagnosis is Fibromyalgia. It also came out in the course of the exam that I am depressed. He asked me if I was going to hurt myself.
“No, I wouldn’t do that to my kids.”
“No. But to tell you the truth, if I found out today that I had a terminal illness, and I’d be dead in six months… I’d be OK with that.”
And then the tears just started, which was weird, because I thought I’d finished all my crying long ago. (Holy crap. I’m Beth Greene.) Doc gave me a box of tissues, and I apologized, “I’m sorry. I’ve just never said that out loud to anyone.”
We wrapped the visit up. He prescribed antihistamines and antidepressants that are supposed to provide some relief from the fibromyalgia pain as well as regulate my mood. I pulled myself together and took a cab home.
The cab arrived very quickly for a change. I got in and struck up a conversation with the driver. Turns out he’s a war vet. He was part of a demolition squad back in Desert Storm. He started talking about his experiences in Iraq, and he quickly became agitated. I don’t want to go into details about what he said, but it was disturbing. The poor guy was clearly haunted. He was close to shouting a couple of times.
I asked him if he’d sought help from the VA, had anyone evaluated him for PTSD? The answer is no; he doesn’t trust the government. He’s scared, angry, and guilt-ridden. It took him a few minutes, but he managed to pull himself together. And then HE apologized to ME.