So, I got a shitty diagnosis last week; it could have been worse, but I was really hoping it would have been better. I’ve been suffering for more than a year now with chronic back pain. I didn’t think too much of it, but a few months ago it got so bad that I could barely walk. So, I bit the bullet and went to a doctor. I thought that this doctor would be pretty good since he’s a relatively recent graduate of WVU, but turns out he’s one of those alternative medicine freaks and said I should see a chiropractor; uh, yeah, I’d rather do something that works. He also couldn’t seem to remember that no accident preceded my back pain, it just sorta happened. I got a prescription for Perkoset, which helped quite a bit (not my hip, however, that still hurt), but it makes me groggy and also insomniatic, terrible combination (think mental blue balls). Plus, I may feel better, but I’m not better. Kinda like what “alternative” medicine does via the placebo effect.
So I get x-rays of my back and hip; immediately I get referred to a rheumatologist . Apparently, my regular doctor saw something that wasn’t expected. I generally feel better when I move around as opposed to sitting, which isn’t consisten with something such as arthritis, but arthritic changes were noted as was spinal curvature. So I go off to the rheumatologist last week and get to hear all about what’s likely wrong with me.
The doctor gave me an exam, measuring how far I could bend and such, then talked about my x-ray report. What was seen was a fusing of my hip bones into one mass and the constriction of my vertebrae; basically my spine is also fusing together, called “bamboo spine” in an effort to make it perhaps feel as if I’m green and saving the planet or something. It’s a condition called ankylosing spondylitis; it’s genetic, there is no cure, and it is degenerative, meaning it will only get worse with time.
So the treatment for AS is basically the same as for RA: I’m on an NSAID called indomethacin, and already have seen the side-effects. One of the side effects is the hindrance of the production of prostaglandins, which line my digestive tract and stomach, which can lead to bleeding (peptic) ulcers and perforations. Nice. It also makes me dizzy as hell, which is kind’ve fun I guess. It also can lead to psychosis and other psychiatric problems, turning me into a raving lunatic I guess. This could actually be even funner come to think of it. And of course, the NSAIDS help, but they can’t stop this stuff and they can’t kill all of the pain. My hip still hurts like hell and I’ve some trouble walking. I went to the mall yesterday and had to stop and sit about half a dozen times. It was so bad that I couldn’t even stand in front of Victoria’s Secret long enough to get enough mental imagery for an all-night spank fest. Sad.
So, while things could be much worse, it looks as if I have more problems to look forward to. AS can lead to kidney problems, heart problems, lung problems, few other things. Plus, if I understand it correctly, AS is also an autoimmune disease, so I’m more subject to pathogens. Oh, and it also makes me tired from what I’ve read.
Ok then, rant is officially over. No more bitching, won’t fix anything.