Another day, another doctor appointment. Or so it seems. I had my bi-annual visit to the rheumatology clinic today. I typically have a rheumatology appointment every 6 months, but yesterday I had to make a follow up appointment for 3 months.
I had a really great conversation with my rheumatologist yesterday. There is a lot we need to follow up on which is why I’ll go back sooner.
Since my last rheumatology appointment I’ve gone to the sports medicine doctor and the gastroenterologist. I’ve had the endoscopic exam and have gotten my results. I had to fill my doctor in on all that had happened.
Concern 1: I had fluid on my knee.
I didn’t have a lot of fluid on my knee, but when I have any sort of fluid on my knee, I worry that the doctors will want me to go back on medications. I wasn’t wrong.
My doctor and I talked about pain. I don’t have much pain associated with my Rheumatoid Arthritis. In general, my knees get very fatigued when they have a lot of fluid on them. Walking around with 30-70 extra milliliters of fluid takes a lot of extra work.
I’m still recovering from my gluten challenge. I still have digestive issues, so my rheumatologoist and I thought is was reasonable to assume that my knees could be affected.
I also told my doctor that my hand cramped fairly badly after squeezing a sponge to wash my car.
And so, we talked about going back medications. She asked me to look into my reaction to sulfasalazine when I took it previously. I’ll follow up with her in three months and we’ll talk about how my knees are doing. If my symptoms have subsided, I’ll get to stay off of medications.
I hate being on medication.
Concern 2: How sure can we be that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis based on a biopsy?
When I went in for my knee surgery in May 2015, they removed my cyst and took a biopsy. My biopsy showed lymphoplasmacytic cells. These are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis and can show up long before any test results come back positive. Thus, the presence of lymphplasmatic cells are solid evidence that I have rheumatoid arthritis, despite the lack of positive blood work.
Atypical seronegative rheumatoid arthritis: that’s quite a mouthful.
Concern 3: Is gluten sensitivity an autoimmune issue like Celiac disease?
This question is still up in the air and I’ve scheduled an appointment with my gastroenterologist to discuss this more. My rheumatologist believes that gluten sensitivity is not an autoimmune disease. There are no antibodies to test for, which makes her believe that it is not an autoimmune disease.
I’m curious about why me knees react so strongly to gluten. I know that gluten can cause inflammation, but I just don’t feel like my knee should react so strongly if it’s not an autoimmune disorder.
I have so many questions! Luckily, I suppose, I have a lot of doctor appointments coming up; a lot of opportunities to ask questions.