Maybe I’m Not So Old After All

Over last summer I started having this pain in my fingers. Just in the morning, and only for a few minutes – a couple of flexes and it was gone. But for awhile there it was quite painful, enough to give me pause before that first bend because I knew it was going to hurt. I ended up going to the doctor about it in November, and after a quick blood test the nurse practioner told me, even though I am young for it (39), that it was rheumatoid arthritis and I’d need to see a specialist to determine the extent. I remember asking at the time, “Is that just an indicator, or, …” and she said, “No, if this says you have it, you pretty much have it.”

Cut to this week, when I finally got to see the specialist. He tells me, and I quote, “I hate those tests. Those put my kids through college. The majority turn out to be false positives.”

I love that idea – the majority turn out to be false positives. I realize that he’s exaggerating, but that would mean that the test is more often *wrong* than it is correct. He goes on to tell me that the doctor should have explained this to me, and I tell him that no, the NP actually said what she said above.

I’m waiting on the new, “real” blood test, but the rheumatologist(?) said that my level for the original was way low, certainly in the false positive range, and he thinks that rheumatoid for me is a dead end. “So don’t go home and Google it,” he says.

“Should have told me that 3 months ago,” I tell him.

So, just a big shout out to my nurse practioner for that little F up.