I had been so worried that my symptoms would change or improve before my doctor got the chance to see them firsthand, but luckily that didn't happen. She could tell right away that things had gotten worse. While I lay down, she gently checked my range of motion. It hurt, a lot, but the good news is that my passive range - when she held my leg and moved it for me - is almost normal, which means there's no joint damage yet. It's just that my hip is sometimes too weak and sore to make those movements myself.
Remember when I made fun of these hip rolls for being boring? Turns out they're not so boring when you can't do them.
I'm getting the x-ray I wanted, along with a cortisone shot under fluoroscopy. With the way my hip is feeling lately, the thought of a needle being inserted into the joint makes me cringe, but at least I'll have a local.
For now, I'm staying on the same combination of Enbrel and MTX that I'm already taking. I know, though, that a cortisone shot won't do anything to change my level of disease activity, or to stop any damage that might be starting to occur despite the other meds. I need to stay on top of things, make sure I find out my x-ray results and keep monitoring my pain and range of motion. My doc is seeing me in six months instead of the usual ten, so that's a good start.
I'm feeling relieved now that she has actually seen me mid-flare. As Wren put it so perfectly in her post on guilt last week, the speed with which symptoms change can be frustrating and embarrassing. Like her, I worry sometimes that people - even my rheumatologist - might think I'm making things up, or just being whiny. I'm glad I was able to show her that's not the case.