I finally got into the doctor on Thursday.
“Dr. D, I’m having inflammation and pain in new joints.”
“Like which ones?”
“Um, how does that kids song go? Oh right, HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES AND TOES, KNEES AND TOES. Ok, maybe not head but also wrists, hips and fingers. And also, I am unable to comfortably do the movements to the aforementioned children’s song right now.”
“Hmmm, and on our last visit I thought you were really starting to show improvement.”
He examined me and agreed that things have really regressed. We are pricing out two options with my insurance company- either Remicade or Actemra- and hope to have a final decision made later in the week.
“Is there anything else I can take in the interim? I’m really having a hard time functioning?”
“Are you not taking the Tramadol I called in for you last week?”
“No, I do not take pain medicine.”
Yes, you read that correctly. I believe that pain is a good warning sign. I don’t want to NOT feel pain and then do something that would end up hurting me more. My pain is caused by inflammation- I want something to treat the inflammation. Does that make sense?
You should probably also know that I worked in a pain control clinic for two summers in college that coincided with the debut of Oxycontin. Best job ever for two reasons: HOT RESIDENTS who invited me to attend ‘liver rounds’ with them on Thursday evenings and a handful of our patients were so nuts that I never had a boring day. So even though I may joke about pain meds and laugh about the potential of medicinal marijuana for RA patients, I’m actually pretty adamantly against it on a personal level. I do realize that I am most likely in a different league of patient than what we saw there: our worst drug seeker was the alcoholic who passed out drunk on the train tracks and lost his legs. True story- only in the south….
“Well, I don’t want to give you anymore Prednisone- I know you don’t like taking it and I know the problems you’ve had in the past weaning off of it.”
“I’m not asking for Prednisone. It’s just that I’m taking x Aleve a day to get any relief from the inflammation and I don’t think it’s good for me.” (imagine eyes bulging out of his head and no, I’m not willing to admit the number but let’s just say there’s a limit in the PDR about how many you can safely take in a day and my intake matched just that.)
So he put me on Mobic. Not really a fun of it but my stomach likes it better.
I stopped at the vending area to get a Coke before my bloodwork because I didn’t have any breakfast and really thought that passing out during/after bloodwork would be pretty sucktastic. While I was there, I got to peek into the infusion center. I was actually pretty impressed- it looked like a “real” infusion center, not like a doctor’s office infusion center.
Bloodwork was a breeze as usual and I was out the door fifteen minutes later.
I’m feeling a little better tonight after 2 days of good rest, good food, and some serious quality time in the hot tub and steam room at the gym.
And now it’s raining so I think it’s time for me to get in bed and enjoy the sound!