Hello, I’m back! I hope you’re all doing fan-dabby-dozy!
My first real blog is going to be about my diagnosis, because a) I like to keep things chronological; it not only stops me from getting confused, but helps you to understand what I’m on about! and b) I wanted to share a remotely ‘positive’ diagnosis, as I have read a lot of horror stories about them.
It all began in the summer of 2008 (I feel like I’m about to start a song – if only!), I was 13, in Year 8 at school – pretty soon going to be Year 9 (and going to Austria on a ski trip!). I woke up one day with a very swollen and painful left ankle. Initially we didn’t think anything of it, as I’d had a pretty hardcore PE lesson the day before, so my Mum put it down to a twist or something. So, we left it for over a week, until I also had an ear problem, so we decided we’d book in the doctors and get both seen to at the same time!
I saw a doctor who also put it down to a minor injury and they prescribed me ibuprofen to take for 10 days and said I’d be right as rain after. (I also had to have my ears syringed as they were blocked – yuck! But that has nothing to do with this story.)
Anyway, I took my ibuprofen for 10 days without any luck, so booked to go back to the GP again – and saw a different doctor this time, as the first one had left. This new doctor was my saving grace because they were persistent and refused to not find out what was wrong with me.
They kept me on ibuprofen to help with the swelling but upon having blood tests, it was decided to take me off them as they were messing with my iron levels and making me poorly. I saw this doctor a few times, and my joints got progressively worse, spreading to my right knee and hips, and then eventually everywhere else.
I still remember the shock and confusion when they said “I think there’s a possibility you may have arthritis”. I was baffled! “DO THEY KNOW HOW OLD I AM?!” I shouted to my Mum.
But I went along with it and got sent for some ‘advanced’ tests in hospital, where I had an X-ray and a blood test – and finally got diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. It was our lightbulb moment, when suddenly everything became clear.
It wasn’t the greatest experience of my life – but I thought I would share it with you because, compared to a lot of diagnosis stories, mine was simple. I was diagnosed in less than three months – whereas for many people it takes years and occasionally some misdiagnoses in order to finally get the answer.
Although the saddest part is I wasn’t allowed to go on that ski trip with school! (boo!) 🙁
Anyway, I’ll be back again soon!
TTFN, ta ta for now!
For help and advice why not have a look at the Arthur’s Place Early Diagnosis Checklist?
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(Any opinions expressed in Molly’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Molly’s blog constitutes medical advice.)