I'm feeling so down at the moment. It feels as if I have taken 1 step forward and 3 back. Wednesday I made a start on the garden and felt that I had achieved something. Thursday morning I went to the doctors hoping to sort out my painkillers. He decided that the night ones are too strong for me regarding the side effects and has told me to stop them and just rely on the lower strength. Not too happy about that as it is at night that I need most help with the pain. He then noticed that my hands and feet were very swollen. I told him that I had been gardening and that was probably the reason. Then he asked if there was any history of rheumatoid arthritis in the family. The answer to that is a big fat YES...my mother, 2 sisters and my eldest son. He has asked for a blood test to determine if I have got this condition....and I'm not happy. Firstly this is probably my biggest nightmare. I lived with, and saw the effects of this disease on my foster mother. She died when I was 20.....15 years on from the onset. My natural mother started with it when she was 48 and suffered for 20 years before dying of lung cancer. My older sister started with it at the same age as my mother (she is 15 months older than me) and is now crippled and a wheelchair user. My younger sister (14 months younger) has also suffered for the last 5 years. Eldest son has been diagnosed within the last 2 years. His was brought on early because he broke his back 19 years ago. Of course the blood test might show that I don't have it, but i think that is fairly unlikely. The second thing that is really annoying me is that my own GP knows about the family history. I have had regular blood tests over the last 3 years in trying to determine various symptoms of M.E. Why haven't I been tested before? Now I am wondering if my symptoms are due to M.E. or rheumatoid arthritis. I have the blood test on Monday morning and have to see the doctor in a week for the results. I got home feeling a bit upset only to get more bad news. The condition management course has been cancelled due to not enough people signed up for it. I have been offered a place at another venue but have turned it down due to the distance. It is in town and quite a walk from the bus stop. I don't think I would be able to manage the travelling and the time I would need to set off from home. It would make it a very long day. The next scheduled local venue is not until June.
After that bit of news I felt really down and tried to console myself with some more gardening. Just got the front to do now. I don't know when it will get done if we have the expected wintry weather that is forecast.