I don't know!!! Argh!
I think the rheumatologist likes me to think not, but he has asked me to go back to see him in four weeks so he can run some blood tests on me. See, he can't know for sure!
The ankle so far has been getting better everyday. Last Thursday (4th day), it was still swollen like this (inserting the link instead of the actual picture to protect the foot-phobics). But on Monday, I was already able to walk slowly on my own without the crutches. By now (about 10 days after the onset), I can walk like a normal person. That's good because I didn't like the attention I got when I was walking like a 90 year old grandma. But of course, if you know me well, you know I'm not my normal self yet because I usually walk twice as fast as a normal person. The swelling has gone down substantially, but it looks purple now around the ankle and there is still discomfort in it when I move. But at least, I can walk now.
The doctor says having abnormal blood test results such as a high RA factor does not necessarily mean that I do have RA. After examining me up and down, he concludes I'm in a good shape. Most likely, the episode is just my body's over reaction to a subtle injury I had that was not picked up in either the X-Ray or the MRI. I have been accused of being melodramatic occasionally by the hubby and now a doctor confirms it! Good grief!
When he told me, "Don't worry. Go home and enjoy yourself!" I almost felt a little disappointed. To me, something had to be wrong when something as debilitating as that happened to a person. If the doctor could confirm what was wrong, it might sound awful or frightening (e.g. RA), but at least we can start acting on that — diet, medicine, or anything — so it does not happen again. But now, nothing will be done or can be done, then how do I know that it won't suddenly happen again and maybe even be worse next time? (The thought of that just sent a chill down my spine.) All right… I guess I'll have to trust my doctor at this point. After all, he seems like a super nice guy, and he shares an office with Christine Thorburn, who came in 5th in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Women's Individual Cycling Time Trial. (BTW, my doctor's name is Andrew Rozelle and he asked me to call him Andrew. See, I told you he was super nice!)
– So, can I get back on my bike now?
– I'd rather you give it at least another week.
– But this is Bohlman-On Orbit, the only Low Key Hillclimb I had wanted to participate in badly! (Omitted here are some lengthy explanations on how painful this hillclimb is, which obviously sounded pretty convincing to the doctor.)
– Okay, if you really want to do it, fine. The worst case is it will swell up again…
Wow, so I might actually do it? Only a week after when I thought I might be disabled for life? Ha, that's a twisty turn on my life's path! Well, we'll see what happens on Saturday!
Update (2 hours after I wrote the post): Erik just remembered to tell me that the rheumatologist called home in the evening. (I was not home because I went to watch Michael Jack's This Is It by myself.) After I left the doctor's office, he talked to the radiologist who took my MRI and got a hold of my MRI. (The MRI images in the CD I brought him were not very clear.) It turned out that the situation was worse than he had thought. He mentioned that there was lot of fluid and swelling around the tendons and ligaments. So, he did not think me riding on Saturday would be a good idea because pushing hard could have a good chance of tearing the Achilles Tendon or other ligaments. Oops, shut down! That's okay though because in this case, ignorance probably would not be bliss.