Sunday, September 4, 2016
Medical update: the results are in
Just as my "you are now out of deductible so everything is now free" insurance plan was ending, I had 12 blood tests done at the local hospital to try to confirm just what I am dealing with. Yup, 12 vials of blood, the most I have ever done at once. Late last Winter, acute hip pain sent me back to the hip orthopedist. Xrays taken, an MRI taken and DX was tendonitis. I walked with a cane as the left hip was a real issue. 2 rounds of cortizone shots, eventually I improved.
Fast forward and now both hips hurt as well as both knees, both ankles. The usual morning stiffness that I was able to walk off once up, within 30 minutes, is on/off all day.
Saw my internist in June: I am tired, requiring naps almost daily. I felt lousy. As I suspected, my vitamin D levels dropped. Surprise: I was anemic. So taking more vit d, and starting iron pills. Meanwhile I saw my gyno for my annual, and mentioned the ovarian cyst that resolved on it's own (MRI of my hips descovered the ovarian cyst)and questioned if that is why I was anemic. Nope, shouldn't be. Turns out, anemia is a symptom of what I now have.
I returned to the aforementioned orthopedist as not only going up but also going down stairs is an issue. After sitting for say 10 minutes, I hobble as I attempt to get up. Getting in and out of a car is an issue, I literally have to use my left hand to raise my left leg (remember, the left hip has chronically been an issue for years) to enter/exit. Orthopedist will no longer help me, this is systemic, please return to your rhumatologist, which I have done twice now.
Blood results are in: vitamin D is better, but still low so I am increasing (again) my dosage. Anemia is better so drop to every other day for the iron pills. Possible diseases were ruled out, initial DX confirmed: psoriatic arthritis in addition to the osteoarthritis I already have.
The timeline for this first psoriatic flare up fits: my former, horrible boss started amping the stress levels up come December, and was relentless. Since mid May, I have been free of that toxic environment, dealing with the aftereffects. Many are commenting that they haven't seen me so happy and relaxed in years (since boss lady came on board). I was proactive, I protected myself, and made informed decisions to move on, start new chapters in my life, only for the better. I have the gifts of time, opportunity, happiness and hopefully soon, better health.
Rhumatologist wants to put me on 2 additional RX: first needed clearance from the nephrologist and I subsequently spoke with the CVS pharmacist regarding how to take this new RX and lesson it's possible impact on a RX I take for my kidneys. This will lesson the stiffness that I have. The second RX is "milder" than the biologiscs that the insurance company wants me to try (because they are cheaper) before taking the RX that my Rhumatologist wants me to be on. He strongly feels that I do not yet need these "big guns." This RX was denied by my beloved @@ insurance company. Really irks me to no end that they make the determination and not me and my MD as to which drug I should be on. With lab results in hand, his office is appealing to my insurance company. Cost: $2700/month. Luckily, the drug companies offer a copay card of up to $11,000/year off. Simply crazy!