I met THE nicest doctor yesterday. Dr. James Taborn at Midwest Arthritis Center at Borgess. What a wonderfully endearing, knowledgable, kind, not-at-ALL-arrogant man. He carefully questioned and examined me, and spent the time he needed to find out all the information necessary to best make an informed decision...oh, that and FIVE vials of blood and a chest x-ray! : )
In his expert opinion, his first impression of my joint pain is that it is reactive arthritis. That means that I have gotten TEMPORARY arthritis from some molecule that irritated my immune system, i.e. the Azithromycin that I took. It may not be from the antibiotic, because that usually starts a week or two after the drug, not a day or two. But my body has never been very good at following the rules!
Anywho...we may never know what caused it, but the beauty of it is by the time I wean off the prednisone back to my maintenance dose, the arthritis should have resolved on its own. This is the best news possible! I will still be on the prednisone for 4 months or so...I've gained 2 pounds and I think my face is getting puffy. Doug says he doesn't think so, but I do.
He took lots of blood to test for several autoimmune connective tissue diseases, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on, but his instinct says it's reactive. (Many autoimmune diseases, of which myasthenia is one, have a tendency to run in pairs.) He's been doing this for 30 years, so I trust his gut! I will find out Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
The chest x-ray was to possibly confirm the reactive arthritis. If you have reactive arthritis, many times you can tell from a chest x-ray because the lymph nodes can be enlarged. I will find out next Tuesday or Wednesday when I call his office. He also wants me to get a bone density scan, since I have been on the prednisone for so long, and don't get much calcium. So I will be doing that in the near future as well.
I will keep you posted, but this was one doctor visit that had me doing the dance of joy!!! Dy-dy-dy-dy- da-da-dy dy dy dy HEY HEY HEY HEY! (For those of you who are Perfect Stranger fans!)