Well, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had an appointment scheduled with a Rheumatologist to see if I had any autoimmune diseases that were causing the pain and swelling in my knee. I thought I would post a quick update for those that are interested...
I met with the Rheumatologist last Wednesday, where she promptly said her best guess was Rheumatoid Arthritis, based on a number of factors. She gave me a steroid shot in the knee (ouch!!), drew a bunch of blood and asked me to come back the following week.
Well, that follow-up appointment was today, and we really didn't get the answers we needed. She said my blood work came back normal, but that sometimes it takes a while for an autoimmune disease like this to present itself. She feels fairly strongly that it is autoimmune-related and said that I should come back if/when it swells up again. I am feeling a bit disappointed with myself, as the doctor wanted to draw fluid from my knee last week but my reluctance led her to say that we could wait on that and just do the blood draw this visit. Apparently the fluid in my joints would give a more clear-cut answer on whether RA (or any other autoimmune disease) was present. Now that the swelling has subsided, she will have to wait until it flares up again to draw the fluid out. A bit of a mistake on my part. Lesson learned.
Overall, a bit disappointing as I was hoping to get some clear-cut answers, but the steroid shot (though it caused a lot of pain for the past week as it worked its magic...) definitely did its job. The swelling has subsided, the pain lessened, and I am able to finally start physical exercise again. Hallelujah!
So I guess I will return to living my life like I'm used to, and head back to the Rheumatologist if and when it flares up again.