I began the past week in Baden-Baden, a lovely small town in Germany. Although the town is known for its thermal baths, parks and restaurants, my mom and I were not there for a holiday. We travelled to Baden-Baden on Sunday afternoon because I had to make an early doctor's appointment on Monday.
Although I share a lot on here and in other corners of the internet, I have never talked about something which has bothered me for years: pain in different parts of my body. I occasionally get pain in my ankles, my arms, and knees. The pain is never very intense, but it is there and sometimes it lasts for days and other times only a few hours. When the pain in one of my ankles became more frequent and the ankle started to swell, I saw a doctor about it and that is how I ended up in Baden-Baden. I saw a few doctors in my hometown, but ultimately had to see a rheumatologist about the issue.
When I went to Baden-Baden, I was honestly scared of what would come out of this appointment. Some bad illness which was going to haunt me for the rest of my life? No diagnosis and more searching? Maybe it was all nothing and I had just hit my ankle on a door? I had all the worst-case scenarios in my head. But, in all honesty. the worst scenario was continuing not to know. This 'hunt' for a diagnosis had been going on for almost a year at that point and it was something which definitely ate at me whenever the pain in one part of my body returned.
When I walked into that rheumatologist's office, I was a bundle of nerves. But within a few minutes, the doctor looked at me and said 'I know what this is.' And the good news is that it was not bad. I am saying 'not bad' because having accidentally kicked my ankle against a door would have been better news, but the diagnosis is definitely not terrible. The complicated big name is 'psoriatic arthritis' but it basically means it is an inflammatory form of arthritis which also helps explain my nasty dandruff which I have had for a long time (and done my best to get rid off).
The diagnosis sounds somewhat scary, but it translates into taking two pills a week to stop the illness from whatever it is up to. I took the pills for the first time this weekend and they pretty much just made me super sleepy for most of the weekend, but I will probably get more used to them over time.
But regardless of my first experience with these two pills. I am so grateful for and happy about finally having a diagnosis. Not knowing was so much scarier. There were so many bad scenarios running through my head and finally knowing that these were no longer on the table felt great. I remember walking out of the doctor's office and towards my mother and just smiling so brightly under my face mask because of my diagnosis.
I thought quite a while about whether or not I should share this with you all because it is not really that interesting, but it is also a good reminder that there is often a lot going on in others' lives without us knowing. Everyone has things that stress them out and which they hold in. For me, it was this. I did not want to scare anyone since it was so unclear what was going on. So I just kept it to myself. But this was definitely something which worried me quite a lot on many days.
I am so glad that I was able to say goodbye to the uncertainty with this doctor's visit. It really made a big difference for me.
Lots of Love,
P.S.: The picture for this article was taken by Simon Hinger. He is an amazing photographer - check out his great work here.