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May 2nd, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Lex&angels Lex&angels is offline
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: France
Posts: 3,736
From my blog (long):

Funny story: a few weeks ago, I called my doctorís secretary to make all my appointments until July, after which I will be seeing a doctor or midwife at the hospital where I am to give birth if all goes well (thatís just how it works here, if youíre in a big city. They make you see the doctor or midwife of your choice for the first few months, and then switch you to one in the hospital. In smaller towns I think it is different, and in private clinics or if you have had a high-risk pregnancy in the past they will sometimes give you a doctor at the hospital directly).

I was fairly alert on that day and I am pretty sure I would have remembered making an appointment for today. I donít remember that at all.

So last week, after my ultrasound (with a different doctor who has a better machine since it was an NT scan), I called my doctor, as planned, to let her know all was well. The secretary let me know that I had an appointment for this morning. I was very confused as to how that happened, especially the secretary was puzzled as to why she had written it down as a 5th month appointment.

Keep in mind, when I was still maybe 5 weeks along, the secretary ďcalled me backĒ to let me know she had spoken to the doctor about my bleeding and she was able to get me an earlier appointment because of it. I hadnít called about any bleeding. In fact, I am very thankful to say I didnít have any bleeding at all at any point during my pregnancy!

I let the secretary know this, that I hadnít taken an appointment for today and that I didnít see why Iíd need one, I just needed my prescriptions to be renewed (baby aspirin, and my monthy labwork) and to be given an administrative document sheíd forgotten to give me last time. So she asked the doctor if she wanted to keep the appointment anyway. The doctor did, so I didnít insist and I went this morning. Itís a good thing, because it transpired that the lab hadnít sent my 24-hour urine results to the doctor at all like they were supposed to. But the doctor was still confused as to why she had wanted to see me, she gave me the documents, I gave her a copy of my results and I left 5 minutes later, thankfully she didnít ask me to pay. Iím seeing her again in 3 weeks for an ultrasound and a monthly checkup.

Ok thatís the end of the ďfunny storyĒ. I have to wonder what kind of drugs that secretary is on though! I need to stay on top of things with this oneÖ

So my doctor finally saw my 24-hour urine test, the second one I did (2 weeks after the first) and the results were slightly worse, but not much. They still arenít bad-bad. Just not optimal. And since I also have positive ANA ó Iím guessing, there is a potential link here, though she didnít say so ó she wants me to see a nephrologist, ASAP. She is going to send me a phone number and name this week. She also wants me to get weekly urine tests for the next month.

So am I worried? Oddly, not that much.

I have worked myself up over nothing so many times in the past. Now that I understand better how the human body works and that I know that my results arenít that bad and that my other auto-immune symptoms are fairly mild and that auto-immune diseases can take easily 10 years to evolve enough to get a clear diagnosis and to be very problematic, Iím taking it all in stride.

Of course thereís the life of my unborn baby in play, but you know what? Iím in the second trimester now. Doctors know more and can do more to help now if something goes wrong. First trimester losses are something doctors canít do much about. They can throw progesterone and baby aspirin at the problem, but thatís pretty much it, and it doesnít always work. Many women with full-blown lupus or kidney disease are able to give birth to healthy babies in the end. And even if I do end up with lupus one day, Iím not there yet. I am just going to trust in my very reactive doctor (and not in her sub-par secretary) and hope that all goes well. Iím also going to keep praying for my little one and just enjoy and be happy.

Until now, all my doctors have always told me that a positive ANA doesnít necessarily mean anything at all. This is true, for borderline positive ANA that do go down. Mine was far from being borderline positive (1:640). Iíve been having some mild auto-immune symptoms for years and then there are all the miscarriages, too. My ANA has been tested positive at least 3 or 4 times, at the same titer, several weeks/months apart. This year, I have had the opportunity to speak with doctors, not as a patient, but as a student (we have a few doctors who gave us basic medical classes). After one class about immunology, I asked the doctor, not mentioning it was for myself, what it means to have auto-antibodies, and if it could just be normal or ďone of those thingsĒ. She replied that is generally not the case, that if auto-antibodies are positive but there is no disease yet, the key word is yet. Eventually things happen. It can take time. I appreciate the honesty, and it has confirmed what I have thought all along.

I am eventually going to have an auto-immune disease. Not all of them are that bad, and there are new and better treatments all the time. But in the meantime, I need to live and enjoy my life and make memories. Who knows if in 10 years I will be in any condition to do rock-climbing, especially if my disease is RA. So I need to do what I want to do now and enjoy it now. One thing I am very thankful for is who knows in 10 years what challenges a pregnancy or even being a mother to an adopted infant would bring? Now, though I am more tired than other women my age, in general, and though I do on occasion deal with joint pain and other problems, I am in good health. I need to be thankful for that and enjoy it.

Oddly, itís freeing to know that I probably will be ill at some point, but I do have time now. I can use this time to the fullest. And who knows, maybe Iíll be lucky and the illness wonít be all that bad. I wouldnít know any of this without my miscarriages. Itís the one (and only) good thing that came of them.

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