Over the past few months I have been learning new things about my body. One of the most interesting things is that I have an extra cervical rib. For years I have had a mystery bump right underneath my collar bone on thee right side. Doctors have all felt it and tried to determine what it is. When my blood work started coming back abnormal because of the lupus, this lump caused them to think I had lymphoma (which of course scared the daylights out of me). However recently two doctors have determined that it is an extra rib. Only 0.2% of the population has one. They can cause some problems, but for right now it is not bothering me and so I'm not worried about having one. It just makes me feel very unique!
I have another congenital bone problem with my tibias, or the shin bones. They both are bowed to the side which causes my feet to turn out like a ballerina's. Unfortunately this does cause some problems for me and I think it contributes greatly to why the joints in my legs hurt a lot more than the joints in other parts of my body. Of course when other joints want to act up (like my right shoulder now) they really get going.
Also I have the congenital cataracts to deal with which have never really been a problem before this past year and a half. It seems like I was born with some interesting features to my body. There are a couple reasons I think this happened.
1. My mother had an autoimmune disease called sarcoidosis while she was pregnant with me. Her case was very severe and she was on very high doses of prednisone. Of course prednisone is deemed safe in pregnancy, but it has been speculated that the prednisone was the cause of my cataracts. Unfortunately my mother lost her battle with sarcoidosis when I was 5 years old, and seeing the effects it had on her make me resist prednisone even more.
2. I was born quite early. 2 months in fact. The details are a bit fuzzy as to the circumstances surrounding this but most of what I gathered involves "a lot of blood" and me being "impatient". Whatever the reason, I was preemie. I was pretty much OK once I came out and spent only a little bit of time in the NICU before I came home.
Whatever the cause of these issues, I may never know. I just have to accept my unique body and the lupus that comes along with it!