Sunday, September 07, 2014

Life threw a curveball...

I slipped and fell off the stairs at work mid June. Not a single bone was broken, but it swelled rapidly and hurt more than when I had hairline fracture. I knew something wasn't right.

My orthopedic doctor told me I have torn ligaments and not to walk for 3 weeks. I duly used a wheelchair to get about. Gradually I began using a walker and now using a stick to stabilize. I joked that I can do a race with the elderly I met, and probably they are winning. I started to be forgetful, confused and had trouble concentrating by July. Toward the end of July I started having headaches.

During that time my breast hurt so much I wanted to cry. I did an usg, and emailed the result to my consultant in KL. She said if I still have problem after my period I need to see a doctor.  It is still hurting but not so much. I started to notice that my mouth is so dry, at one point I drank 3 liters of water while being at the office for 9 hours. At times, my nails turn blue and painful from the airco.

Meanwhile, I saw my internist who also happened to be my dad's friend. The moment he saw me he suspected that I have vasculitis and I'm low on vitamin D, and told me to do some blood test. I thought it was routine tests, until I saw that he ticked on the box next to ANA under rheumatology test. Something is not right.

Three days later the result came back. Everything was good except that I have high cholesterol and my ANA results were positive. It points to Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Not. Good.

Now I take 7-8 different pills a day, dealing with dry eyes, dry mouth and throat, rash, brain fog, and joints pain. I try to live my life as normal as possible but sometimes it is frustrating.

Not only I have to be careful with what I eat (apparently sugar, dairy, gluten are not my friends anymore, which is suck as I love my cakes and my comfort food is mac & cheese), light and sun are not agreeing with me. I've notice each time I went to carrefour with its bright UV-emitting-flourescent lights I feel so weak after about 30 minutes. Stress is a big problem. Once, due to traffic I was late for an appointment even though I left the house 1.5 hours prior to the schedule. It supposed to be a 40 minutes ride which turned into more than 2 hours ride. After catching the end of the meeting, and on a taxi back to the office, I felt like collapsing. I paid for the stress right away.

So, now I close my eyes to things that might agitate me, I let go a lot of things. Seeing the brighter things, like now I have something in common with Venus Williams. It's been 24 days since my diagnosis, and every day is a learning process. It's a new way of living, but life goes on.