Thank you, Mari, for your kind reply
Yesterday I went to see a General Physician. He was reasonably thorough, but still warned me that my traumatic childhood (40+ years ago) could be causing my symptoms. Apparently the fact that I am in the best place emotionally I have ever been but physically in the worst seems to be irrelevant. However, he did a physical exam (made no comment, although I have no reflexes in my left knee or my feet and have significant oedema) but he has ordered blood tests that seem to be mainly for inflammatory markers and thyroid function. No repeat ANA though. So we shall see. If they come back OK I don't know what I'll do next.
But I have some consolation in being on this board and knowing I am not alone, so I am genuinely grateful for your support. Gerladine
Geraldine, I presume you are in the middle of SA, (600km to see a specialist), when your doctor gets the results from the last round of tests.... talk to him about sending the results to a rheumatologist. I believe there is a federal grant available to people who have chronic ailments for travel expenses to medical practitioners. so if you do have lupus, you should be eligible for a subsidy to cover your travel costs. centrelink is the department that looks after the grant.
Thank you, Steve. It's a 600km round trip and PATS (patient assistance transport scheme) will provide 16 cents per km after you contribute $30 - if it's more than 100km, which helps a bit. Plus they pay toward accomodation. You need a GPs referral though. As I already have multiple permanent disabilities, I will look further into other federal funding as per your suggestion, thank you, and hope the GP will refer me to a rheumy even if this latest lot of bloods are negative. Cheers.
'Hypochondriacs Anonymous meeting cancelled - members believe they are too ill to attend