“I wouldn’t be buying plug-in air fresheners if I didn’t want to live with you, would I?”

We’re nearly there. Empty boxes are beginning to outweigh full ones, and the hallway carpet is finally visible. S spent today sorting tools and electronic bits into drawers, while I painted the underside of some shelves I started yesterday, and a shelf S build from some scrap pieces of wood to attach to the blackboard I made from the backing to an old painting I found in the basement. We’re putting them up in the kitchen; I’ve accepted that my piss-poor memory isn’t going to improve any time soon, and any tools to help me remember the most basic things would come in pretty handy.

We’re finishing off tomorrow, and putting the Christmas tree up. After years of making sure my mother’s collection of decorations was in her will – I’m not kidding, I really love those decorations – she announced a few weeks ago that I could have them. Neither S or I are particularly big on Christmas, or public holidays of any kind, but I sort of want a tree and some sparkly lights for our first Christmas living together. We went to Tesco tonight to pick up some essentials, and ended up getting excited over festive food; something I never thought would happen.



I confess, my first solo-ish Christmas combined with finally unpacking has brought the BPD out a little, and I’ve had a couple of outbursts; panic-driven, tear-stained, get-the-hell-away-from-me-or-I’ll-explode. I’m getting finicky about calories again and standing in front of the full-length mirror, loathing everything about my silhouette. Started wondering, “what’s the point in worrying about all this when i’ll inevitably go wrong anyway?“.

So I was quite surprised when S, who was leaning his head on my arm as I read in bed, said, “you are still enjoying living with me, aren’t you? I know I can be a pain.

It’s rare for S to show any real vulnerability. Not out of some misguided macho pride; he just doesn’t, and it seems to work for us. It’s always a surprise when he does, and I never quite know how to deal with it. After all, could I really be 100% honest without terrifying him? “Actually, I’ve never been so happy, and just being around you is making me more comfortable than I’ve ever felt in my life. Waking up with you is the best thing ever, and I feel like I could explode when you make me a cup of coffee because it’s so damn awesome to finally be living with you”.


Past relationships – especially those with O and J – have taught me that it’s very easy to say the wrong thing, and sometimes it’s best to just keep my mouth shut if I want things to run smoothly. So I just stroked S’s hair, kissed him on the nose, and said “I wouldn’t be buying plug-in air fresheners if I didn’t want to live with you, would I?



The past week has been strange to say the least, and I feel guilty for writing posts and not responding to comments. I had planned to get stuck in to this blog a little bit; find the time somehow to sit and relax and really think about everything which has happened and all the little occurrences I should be writing about. I do read every single comment, and it’s not like I simply shrug them off; many of them stay with me while I’m going about my day, and I find myself thinking of certain readers, wondering how they are.

I never really explained in my last post why I had a great big needle stuck into my ankle. In truth, I haven’t really wanted to speak about it much because although it’s wonderful that I’m finally – finally – being taken seriously and tests are now beginning to show results, it’s also scary. Words are being thrown around which I’m not entirely comfortable with. Suggested diagnoses. Referrals back to rheumy. Discovery of a misdiagnosis, and something big which was missed entirely.

Long story short, my ankle/foot pain was never being caused by Achilles tendonitis, despite it being diagnosed by physio, the bio-mechanics clinic, and orthopaedics. I’ve actually damaged a tendon in the side of my foot, meaning that the exercises I was all but bullied into doing despite my protestations of pain were just exacerbating the problem. The ultrasound I had a couple of months ago showed a tear in the tendon, and also a light mass in my ankle joint. Fluid. Lots of fluid.

So I was rushed through X-Ray. Being rushed through any department in my local hospital is a miracle in itself.

Then finally, after almost two years of constant pain, referrals, tests and appointments, it all began to come together.



The damage to my tendon is a symptom, and the reason why I’ve been in so much pain is because my ankle joint is incredibly inflamed, so I’m getting pain from both things, and the tendon can’t heal because the swelling keeps it constantly stretched.

So far, so normal, really. Dr. B did say I have osteoarthritis in my knees and fingers, so why not elsewhere? Only, my othopaedic consultant sat down and asked me a load of questions about my health; when I had pain, where the pain was, how well I slept, my eating habits, the history of my fibromyalgia… read back through my notes, and spoke to another consultant.

I’m going to send these results to Dr B. With your history and symptoms, we may well be looking at rheumatoid arthritis“.

He’s the third medical professional to say that in the past six months.

Only this time, they have actual pictures. Proof. Proof that I’m not faking it, and that there is something wrong with my body. That ultrasound scan.. just one scan, 15 minutes of my time, and finally things are happening.

Do I want RA? Hell no.

Do I believe I have it? Yes. It all fits. Everything. Almost too well.

Tests are beginning next month.

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    • *hugs right back* Thinking about you too, it’s hard not having much time or energy to reply! I’ve woken up early with some unexpected energy, so I’m getting stuck in while I can.

      I’m 90% sure it’s RA; although I’m no expert, so I may be way off. In a way I feel almost smug that for a long time I’ve been sitting on this suspicion and maybe I’m finally onto something. I haven’t really wanted to mention it, because it’s too easy to self-diagnose and really… up until this point, it could have been anything. Now it’s been whittled down to just a few possibilities, and RA is the most likely from a host of inflammatory conditions.

      In a way, I’d rather have something horrible which has medications to help, than never know exactly what’s going on.


  1. I am so glad you are finally being listened too – oh how easy it is for (some) docs to diagnose anxiety, etc and leave you so alone to deal with real physical symptoms of an undiagnosed condition.

    Love that you are in love with S and your new life and I sincerely hope next year brings you further happiness.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.

    Anna :o]


    • Have a wonderful Christmas too! What are your plans?

      You’re right, it’s far too easy for some doctors to write everything off as symptoms of mental illness and refuse to look any further. I can almost understand why, but it’s not like I’m someone who pesters doctors. I go, become a quiet little mouse, and leave again.

      Anyway, hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the journey, if that makes sense.

      Much love to you <3


  2. I hope you get a good diagnosis, even if it RA. I have sometimes become very angry at health professionals who were intimidating, condescending know-it-alls. Not to be deliberately sexist, but in my experience they were male doctors.
    Have a wonderful holiday, and good luck with your tests.


    • Thank you; I’m not sure if they’re going to bother with blood tests, or simply base it all on symptoms. Time will tell. Have a wonderful Christmas/holiday, Anita!

      In my experience, I’ve found female doctors to be a little more condescending, but it all depends on the department. Female gynaes have been a nightmare, but males have been wonderful.


  3. All kinds of happy love from Maine! I am thrilled you had that scan!!!!! How wonderful finally to have concrete evidence, and nobody saying you’re just whiny. I cannot tell you how great I feel because you feel happy — know that I just lit a celebratory candle for you to sit on my desk. Wicked cool, even though the diagnosis may not be. You are a strong woman, and you will learn that as you go on with your new life.

    As for telling S how you feel, the air fresheners line was terrific. But may I suggest that you sit together on a couch, snuggle up, and let him read what you wrote. He knows you’re prone to a little mania — I believe he would love to read that description. Just a suggestion. I hope you have a very happy Christmas in your new pad, and you have the ornaments — bonus!

    So damn happy I’m crying a little. Take care.


  4. *hugs* I’m happy you’re being taken seriously, thrilled that you’re on the road to a diagnosis. However crappy it might be, at least it’s a start toward possible treatment that could make the situation better.

    Also, I love that line about air fresheners. It’s a lovely way to say what you mean without it having to become a drawn out thing, keeping it at your comfort level. :)


  5. As a man who’s asked that question more than once or twice over the decades, I think your answer was brilliant. It’s perfect for a man on so many levels.

    About physical therapy and pain – I had two physical therapists tell me to -never- do any PT exercise that causes significant pain, including the ones they prescribed for me. Your instinct and body were right.

    Finally RA, congrats on a likely diagnosis! Once it’s nailed down you can start to work on it with proper, focused treatment.


    • I was always under the impression that pain is a way of your body telling you to stop pushing it; and the pain the exercises caused was worse than anything I’ve experienced before, including gallstones. Unfortunately I’m awful at speaking up for myself, so when physio and bio-mechanics both scolded me for stopping the exercises after a few months, I went back to doing them and just took as many painkillers as were safe. At least now it means they won’t expect me to do them again.

      Thank you much for popping in, and take lots of care.


  6. Going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is one of the worst things which could happen to you when you are in pain. Not only do you not get the treatment needed, but it puts you into a perpetual state of doubt and despair. I can relate really well, because my depression (with all its physical side-effects) has been misdiagnosed as well, most notably as MS.

    Reading about you and S moving together is so touching; I hope you had a very happy Christmas together!


    • Being misdiagnosed with MS must be horrible; I saw a neurologist earlier in the year to rule out MS and similar things, and I was terrified. Sadly, it happens a lot. You’re right about the doubt and despair, and I think that’s something doctors often don’t understand. When you’re being pushed from pillar to post and seeing so many different specialists and hearing so many diagnoses… you don’t know what to believe.

      We had a lovely Christmas, thank you! Very quiet, just like we wanted. Hope yours was wonderful, and thanks very much for the comment.


  7. Having been a consumer of medical services my entire life thanks to a serio
    us birth defect, I both loath and kind of like doctors. In essence, they are a necessary evil. I live in one of the medical centers of the world. It was fairly routine to see customized jets from the Middle East sitting on the tarmac or in the hangars at the airport closest to downtown. Members of the Saud family and their retainers were here some years ago and caused a terrible ruckus.

    One would think that with all that talent floating around town that it would be a fairly simple task to find a decent doctor. It isn’t. In fact, I think it’s harder. Many have lost any remnant of humility they once had. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I couldn’t get more than tramadol for the pain. Tramadol even with a side of Tylenol didn’t cut it. It took YEARS to get a referral to a pain specialist. Then, because the hospital his office was in was absolutely horrid about visitor parking, I had to find another pain specialist. The vibe in that office was not good at all. They distrusted anyone and everyone. They blackballed me because I insisted on remaining with that practice instead of being ushered to another one when they discovered I had major depression–something I’d successfully hidden until one massively horrible day. I don’t even want to get into it it’s so miserable.

    My point is that I can empathize with your struggle to get proper medical care. I have learned to stand up and walk the hell out of physical therapy if they have a bad attitude and refuse to acknowledge my pain or my physical limitations. If my body hurts, it hurts. If they can’t understand that, then I don’t need them.

    As I was reading a few of your symptoms and trials and tribulations, the first thing I thought was, “Maybe she has RA.” Well, a paragraph or two later, you nailed it. I am really, really sorry because I would only wish that pain on someone who’d harmed a child, animal or other helpless person/creature. Of course, it depends on how severe the RA is, but there are some newer treatments that may be helpful. I pray that they are. You are a kind and loving person and I don’t want to see you in pain.

    As for your love affair, I am deeply envious. *grin* I hope to have one more all-encompassing, googoo-eyed, feet-don’t-touch-the-ground once more before leaving this earth. I don’t care about gender or, mostly, age. What I care about is that the person love me as I am. That, alone, will make me a better person. And I want to love that person as s/he is. I don’t want to raise a kid, so I guess that cuts out those in their early 20s, but I also want spontaneity. Hence, those little blue pills, or other types of ED drug, might put a damper on my fun. I am a highly sexual woman who has buried that part of myself for years because I’ve been busy working on my health. I’m still doing that to some extent, but much less than I was. I’m preparing to move, so I can’t even go on the dating sites and find someone. The good thing is that the place I hope to move to has a very active LGBT community. That’s where I am most comfortable. Maybe I’ll find someone there who quickens my heartbeat and makes me dumbstruck. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m rather verbose.

    I am very, very glad that good things are happening with you. You deserve it all. You inspire me to keep hoping and keep going until I get what I need and what I want. Thank you.


  8. Thank you so much for sharing all this; and for your very kind words. Don’t worry at all about being verbose; the more words, the better.

    As for the love affair… I think the difference here is that it’s not all feet-not-touching-the-ground and flowers and bunnies. We have our passion, but it’s… quiet, if that makes sense. It’s slow-burning instead of raging like an inferno like it has in the past, and that makes it much easier to deal with. I’ve found somebody who thinks like me, and wants the same things as me… and I’m starting to realise that’s what I’ve always been missing. Somebody to compliment me, rather than the whole opposites-attract thing.

    I wasn’t looking when I met S. I’d split up with my fiancé a couple of years earlier and then fell into a ridiculously abusive relationship in an attempt to get over it. After that ended, I resolved to stay single for as long as possible, because I’d never really experienced life without a significant other. I drifted between relationships, and sometimes there wasn’t even a gap between men; I didn’t like being alone.

    I was happy being single; I realised I enjoyed the freedom of being able to do my own thing and not have to shave my legs if I didn’t want to. Then S came along and changed all that, and I wasn’t expecting it in the least.

    What I’m trying to say is… it’s a cliché, but it sometimes finds you if you stop looking. I do hope you find what you’re looking for, because it’s wonderful when you have it, and you sound like a lovely person. You deserve that feeling. I’m glad there’s a strong LGBT community where you’re thinking of moving to; I imagine that’d help a lot with the initial “omg new town new place” feeling. I suspect you’ll do just fine.

    As for RA, I’m beginning to get my head around it all. I know I haven’t had a diagnosis yet, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever found, and the list of symptoms may as well have a picture of me next to them. It’s the same feeling I had when I first read about BPD; that “so THAT’S it” feeling.

    Doctors… some have been the greatest person on earth. My rheumy may as well walk on water; he’s wonderful. A softly-spoken Egyptian man who doesn’t bullshit and gives it to you straight while managing to still be kind. My GP has never refused me a consultation with far-flung specialists based on a hunch of mine, and has worked hard to find me the right medications over the past decade.

    Sadly, it’s balanced out by the complete idiots. The ones who patronise you, or don’t explain things properly. The ones who don’t even bother looking you in the eye and dismiss you with “it’s just a bit of stress” when your whole body feels like it’s been hit by a bus and you haven’t slept for a week.

    And I have a habit of remembering the bad things, not the good.


  9. Much late in my response, many apologies. I’m glad they’re finding out what’s wrong with your foot, but really sorry and angry for you that it’s taken so damn long!

    I hope that you’ve had a lovely, lovely Christmas with S in your new home together. Xx


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