I was off the week of Nov. 30 last year. I had a Christmas party planned for the upcoming weekend and had a ton of baking to do, plus I was looking forward to just relaxing, doing some Christmas shopping and getting together with a few friends.
On the Monday, I got together with my personal trainer for a strength session. I hadn't been working out as regularly as usual (crazy busy at work the last few months!), but when I was sore on the Tuesday, I thought it was a bit strange (I'm generally sore 2 days after a workout) and went for a light cardio workout as usual anyway. My hands were kinda sore, but I put that down to all the baking and stirring I'd done Monday aft. Wednesday, still sore feeling all over and hands still sore, but again, baking and stirring... Thursday, light cardio again in an attempt to loosen up and more baking that aft.
By Mon. Dec. 7, after no more workouts or baking for four days, I knew something bizarre was going on and called my family doctor and got an appointment for the Wednesday. Tuesday morning at 6:15, I called in somewhat of a panic because I had trouble getting out of bed (!) and said, "Can you call me back and let me know if you can get me in today? Seriously freaking out." Or something to that effect.
I hadn't heard back before I left for work, so I just drove to doctor's office, hoping they could fit me in. My doctor wasn't available, but I saw another in the practice and she checked me over, mentioned rheumatoid arthritis, asked if I'd been to New England (I got the connection – Lyme disease), and I said, yes, but years ago, so she sent off some blood tests and said the results should be back in a week.
Cut to just before the holidays. I still hadn't heard back, so I called to find out the results were in, but I hadn't heard since they were negative. I pointed out that about 20% of people with a negative rheumatoid factor test can still have rheumatoid arthritis, and I needed to absolutely see a doctor because now I really couldn't get out of bed.
I was actually on the verge of panicking at that point. I woke up one morning determined to take my time and stretch and move around for 15 minutes before even trying to get up, but despite that, by the time I got myself up, I was so nauseated by the effort I had to lie back down again. Lie back down, when I'd just tried so hard to get up! Insane! And on top of that, chills and shakes.
I insisted I see a doctor or that one was called. I was damned if I was going to spend the entire week and a half of Christmas holidays frozen in bed not knowing what the hell was going on. And it wasn't just the frozen in bed. Each time I sat for more than a few minutes, my whole body was freezing up again.
Lucky result: my doctor was called, realized (cause she's a great, sympathetic, wonderful doctor!!) the severity of the situation, and immediately prescribed an anti-inflammatory and Tylenol and had her staff call in a referral to a rheumatologist. I was thrilled by her response! And did I mention all this happened while she was on holiday! Kudos to Dr. Vivian Brown!