*warning: self centred whinging session below*
I can't help that I'm 22 and feeling old. I know I'm not, and shouldn't, but I do. (If that makes sense.)
The past few weeks have been painful. Since the end of March I've been nursing pretty much constant back pain. In contrast, the rest of my joints, which used to hurt more, have been sorted by taking diclofenac, but not my back or my neck it appears.
I've been feeling pretty shit to tell the truth, as online friends will vouch for. I've cried more than I ever have before, my sleep's been disturbed, and I'm feeling distinctly rough. It hurts when I breathe and moves up and down my back like a yo-yo. Add to this the permanent smell of Deep Heat that follows me around, and I feel anything but 22.
The problem is, I can't pin point anything that causes it to hurt. It isn't aggravated by manual handling or exercise (in fact it usually feels better for an hour after the gym), and carrying things don't bother it. Sitting, standing and lying down all hurt, and the most company I've had in the bedroom department comes from a scooby doo hot water bottle. If it weren't for the fact that I need to vacuum, I would have seriously slept on the floor last night.
I mean, I have tablets for it. Wonderful tablets that, while they don't stop it during the day, they do knock me out sufficiently to ensure a good night's sleep. There's one slight problem though... It's not just a good night's sleep; it's usually until 2pm the next day as well. 14 hours sleep a night is a little bit excessive, but it's what my body craves if I take the 25 mg amitriptyline each night. I wasn't getting any work done while I was taking it, so I stopped. This was also the tablet responsible for me sleeping through all my morning lectures at university - to the amusement of my peers and the annoyance of lecturing staff.
Unfortunately, the general concensus of the GP is that I should be taking at least double (50mg) per night. I dread to think what I'd be like if that happened. Rip Van Winkle springs to mind.
I feel a little depressed when I think about my doctor's appointment looming this week. I know what will happen before I go. I'll cry. Snot and tears will flow freely and again, I'll be fobbed off. No doctor has ever examined my back or my neck. They presume it's the same thing that's wrong with my knees, hips and ankles. A fair enough conclusion, I thought. Except that the treatment that works for one doesn't even touch the other.
Is it wrong to want a diagnosis?
My logic is telling me: 'if you know what's wrong with you, you can start finding things out for yourself'
But I seem to have baffled people. I have the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (including the family history), but without the blood results to confirm it.
I can't help but wonder how I'm going to cope at medical school* if this carries on...
This post was brought to you with the help of a shit night's sleep, back pain, and the assistance of Wikipedia.
*and yes, that did look vaguely like a decision didn't it?? Let's just say it's in the lap of the gods.