On Sunday night, Keeping Up With The Kardashians returned for Season 17.
Khloe and Tristan drama took center stage for a lot of reasons, but there is also a medical drama unfolding on the show.
Kim has a rash of unexplained symptoms, and when she underwent a medical screening, doctors began to fear the worst.
“Today I woke up,” Kim narrates while in the car with Khloe. “And my hands are a bit swollen.”
Unlike millions of Americans, who either don’t have insurance or can’t realistically afford to use it, Kim can go to the doctor about it.
“I think it’s my anxiety,” Kim then hopefully suggests, noting that her fourth child is on the way via gestational carrier.
It is not uncommon for people to suggest that their ailments are psychosomatic in order to brush aside more serious worries.
Unfortunately, wishful thinking and denial are not the same as a medical screening.
“I just am, like, freaking out,” Kim then says in a voiceover while footage shows her at the hospital.
Speaking to the konfessional kamera, Kim says: “I have a baby on the way, I have law school.”
“It just really can scare you when you start really thinking about how much this is gonna change my life,” Kim laments.
She has already experienced swollen joints, headaches, and general fatigue.
At the hospital, she undergoes a screening.
And when she hears the results at home, the cameras are there to capture her reaction.
“As far as your results …” her doctor tells her as delicately as he can. “Your antibodies are positive for Lupus.”
“And,” he continues. “Rheumatoid arthritis.”
Those are both devastating autoimmune disorders in which your own immune system turns upon your body and attacks it.
Symptoms include agonizing pain, a lowered quality of life, and either condition can shorten life expectancy by decades.
Lupus attacks the entire body. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the body’s joints and can warm fingers into gnarled, immobile talons.
Kylie may not be a medical expert, but as she sits and listens to her big sister’s diagnosis, she visibly tears up.
Kim admits to her doctor: “So I don’t, like, know what that means.”
Dr. Daniel Wallace gives it to her straight: “You’d have, in addition to swollen joints, you’d have fevers, rashes, mouth sores, be really tired.”
He does point out that there is absolutely hope.
“But,” he notes. “Sometimes you can get false positives with these screenings.”
By this point, Kris and Khloe have gathered around to also hear the news.
This is when Kim confesses: “I’m freaking out.”
Kylie remarks that not knowing for sure is “the scariest part,” which is fair.
Through carefully dabbed-away tears, Kim shares: “I’ll know on Friday.”
Kim did such a good job of staying calm during the call. Afterwards, it’s no surprise that she cries.
Kris gives Kim some solid advice: “stay really positive until we get some results.”
Kim acknowledges how helpful that suggestion is, even if it’s difficult or even impossible to follow.
“You know, you really do get in your head and think about the worst possible things that can happen,” Kim notes.
“So, for the next few days it’s gonna be really hell…” she characterizes.
Kim admits that she will be “living, wondering what I have, what’s going on, and how to fix this.”
Things seem bleak now, but hopefully next week’s episode will deliver some very good news.