Saturday, December 17, 2011

Secret Post #20: SI Joint

NOTE: This post is part of a series that I wrote in secret during the months before I announced my pregnancy. The series chronicles my pregnancy journey: from weaning off my RA meds, to trying to conceive, to searching for helpful advice and information, to discovering I was pregnant, to the ups and downs of my first trimester. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 This Post Written November 16, 2011

Today I went to see my rheumatologist's assistant about the pain I have been having in my SI joint. Considering that I will be supporting considerably more weight in that section of my body over the next few months, having back pain during the first trimester is making me pretty nervous. Having it be associated with a joint is making me even more nervous.

But it turns out that RA doesn't usually affect the SI joint (usually). And though there are some other inflammatory diseases out there that do affect the SI joint (like AS: ankylosing spondylitis) apparently it's pretty rare for those to go hand in hand with RA. She said another option is OA in that joint (awesome), but that is also unlikely given my age. So this is a good thing - she said whatever is wrong with my SI joint it isn't likely to be caused by an inflammatory disease or OA.

She said it was more likely that the joint just got out of alignment and the muscles got mad. She prescribed some physical therapy, so I'm going to try that first. If that doesn't work then we are going to consider a short course of anti-inflammatories, as apparently there are a few that are considered safe at this stage of pregnancy (though of course we'll get my OB's approval if we go this route.)

Hopefully one or both of these plans will be enough to make the pain go away. If not, I'll have to suffer through it until the baby is born and it's safe to get some x-rays of the area. But, since the stretches I do every week with my pilates instructor actually do seem to help alleviate the pain (at least a little bit), I am optimistic that the physical therapy will be enough.

Even though my rheumatologist himself didn't have time for a full appointment with me today, he did pop his head in while I was with his assistant to say hi, see how I was doing, and offer his congratulations on my pregnancy. Also, my Arthritis Ambassador assignment this month was to ask my rheumatologist to join the Arthritis Providers and Researchers Advocacy Alliance and he told me today that he would join, which is very cool of him. His awesome nurse (who has helped me so much with insurance nightmares in the past) said congratulations too. The whole office is really excited for us, and that made me very happy. After all, these folks have been a big part of my life for the past three years. It's really, really nice to have their support.

In other news, I got a message today that the bloodwork from my first prenatal appointment came back. Everything looks good, except that my thyroid dosage needs to be increased a little bit. I'm actually really glad to hear that, because the increased dosage ought to help somewhat with the intense fatigue I have been experiencing.

In more different other news, I wonder if the nausea is finally starting to die down and if the cravings are starting to set in? Because I'm pretty sure I'd do anything for an In-N-Out burger right now. ~;o)


Stephanie Kay said...

Having an awesome rheumy is sooo important! I love my current dr. and her office. She's a little short on bedside manner but she knows her stuff and doesn't mind my questions.

So how are you feeling now, a month after writing this post?

~Mariah~ said...

STEPHANIE: I agree - it's super important to be able to communicate and feel supported by your rheumatology team. And as for me, I'm finally starting to feel a lot better. ~;o) Though I'm still going to physical therapy for the SI joint.