When you hear hoof beats, think horses not Zebras.
This is a phrase that medical students have been taught since Dr Theodore Woodward first uttered it in his lectures in the 1940s. This is fairly self-explanatory, most injuries and illnesses are seen often by doctors so by jumping to weird and wonderful conclusion, in the main is going to be a waste of time and resources. However there comes a time when all the main stream tests have been done and all the possible consultants have been seen. Well as Sherlock Holmes would say, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. That very eloquently sums up the stage we are now at with my medical issues.
This week we went to the specialist clinic in London and met the most wonderful, lovely, amazing doctor, I cannot sing his praises highly enough. Not only did he look at the entire picture of what is going on with my health but he even had a pretty good idea of what was causing the problems. After examining all my joints, it is clear that they all partially dislocate with no force. I do mean all of them, jaw, shoulders, elbows, wrists, every finger, both thumbs, hips, knees, ankles and toes. It’s also a fairly good assumption that my ribs and sternum dislocate. The only one we haven’t really examined is my spine, which will need further investigation. It looks almost certain that I have a connective tissue disorder, I am going to be have genetic testing to determine which one. There is a long road ahead but at least I am starting to figure out which road I am on.
Also this week I had my 4 weeks shoulder check and started physio. I am allowed to let my arm out of the sling a lot more, which is lovely but fairly painful. There is a good chance I will be having a few more stabilisation surgery so I guess I had better get used to it. We shall see, first step is to have the genetic tests to know what we are dealing with, then I can work with my doctors to come up with a treatment plan. There is no cure for connective tissue disorders and they are progressive in nature but hopefully we can manage the symptoms and come up with a plan. I am trying not to think too much about that at the moment, one step at a time and no googling ha – who am I kidding, what else am I going to do at 3am.