Saturday, 18 August 2012

Welcome to my blog

This might seem a strange blog post but I decided to start afresh. So please excuse me if I repeat something that you've read in the prior blog post.

My name is Lesley-Ann and I'm 41 years old, I live with my elderly parents in Scotland, I have a younger brother who is a schoolteacher. My brother is happily married to another primary school teacher and they have three healthy boys.

I was born with congenital spinal deformities as well as scoliosis of the spinal column. The effects of this almost crippled me and I almost landed in a wheelchair at the age of 17. Even though I managed to avoid that fate then, I also knew that eventually my spine would degenerate so badly that I would spend the remainder of my life in a wheelchair. Despite this I vowed to put that the as far into to the future as possible.

Apart from my spinal problems I also suffered from a mysterious undiagnosed illness which plagued my life from my midteens, it mainly caused me to feel extremely tired and to experience all over body aches.

In my early 20s I developed bad swelling on the west side of my stomach, I was sent to the hospital and had my bowels and my ovaries checked out by a camera but I was discharged from the hospital without a firm diagnosis. Luckily a new GP had joined my surgery, he was also a fully qualified and trained orthopaedic surgeon, and only took one appointment for him to diagnose me with irritable bowel syndrome as well as having a flareup of my spinal problems.

As my IBS run rampant through my body for over a year I tend to suffer from very serious attacks from this condition, my doctor called it an advanced and serious case of IBS caused by the lack of a positive diagnosis early on.

At the age of 28 I went to the doctor after experiencing some swelling in my knees and my wrists, I was totally shocked to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as I thought arthritis was something an old person got. He advised that I be moved from the factory floor where I'd worked for over a decade and into a less physically demanding area as where I was situated was antagonising my arthritis and speeding up my degeneration. Despite multiple promises of being shifted this never happened in 18 months later I became unable to work, funnily enough it was just then the agreed and even suggested moving me to another department, I figured it was too little too late.

Six months later the hospital confirmed my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis by doing a deep bone scan and this came just days after I was paid off from my job at 12 years. I was given what the human resources called early medical retirement.

About a year after this confirmation, in fact closer to 18 months, two separate rheumatologists at the hospital handed me a diagnosis of a condition called fibromyalgia. I'd never heard of this but in the years since this happened I have come to believe the fibromyalgia was my mystery ailment which first began to affect me in my teens.

Last year my condition greatly degenerated, so much so that my specialist was so concerned he sent me to an emergency appointment with the occupational therapist on staff. Unfortunately the appointment for a full assessment which she promised would occur within 2 to 4 weeks didn't occur until three months later by which time my physiotherapy had started a different hospital. My physiotherapy assessment stated that the degeneration in my lower limbs was irreversible as it was an effect of having these joints under daily attack from arthritis for almost 13 years.

At the time it was believed the only my neck and my feet remained untainted by the disease but unfortunately my feet are showing signs of also becoming infected and affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

In February 2012 the occupational therapist at the hospital added a new diagnosis to my ever expanding list when I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. As if having arthritis in my hands and wrists wasn't good enough I also had to develop this. This has made me face the fact that it's very unlikely I will ever regain my ability to sit and type the way I have for over 25 years. I won't go into in this blog post, but I might in another, but this was quite heartbreaking for me.

So the you have it a quick, recap of my various medical problems, I do have other things that affect me but these are mainly shoot off's of my main diagnosis, and as you can imagine from what I've covered in this post it is a complex and difficult subject to talk about and to cover to be quite honest. Even when I had to fill out the ESA 50 I had problems remembering everything, and I was equally worried that if I put down everything that I did live with that it wouldn't be believed and I would be labelled as a liar simply on the basis of the sheer volume of info/symptoms etc., noted.

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