Thursday, December 30, 2010

Intro, Part II

Picking up where we left off last night, I had just got a huge shot of cortisone into my left shoulder.  That was fun.  I went back two days later and got another cortisone shot in my right wrist.  Good times.  I felt good and pain free for about 3 weeks.  Working at the bar, working during the day, it was all good.

Then the pain came back.  I went back to the ortho guy who told me all he could do was shoot me up again, so he did, the shoulder and wrist two days apart.  That lasted about 3 weeks.  Pain was back.  I went back and he started doing all sorts of tests on me.  I went to the hospital on 2 separate occasions for two of the weirdest tests I've ever had done.  The first was a bone scan, where they strapped my arm down to what looked like an overgrown snare drum for an hour while I sat and stared at the walls.  The second and more interesting one was the Arthrogram MRI.  This was a trip.

Cut to the lab...I'm in a room by myself, divided from the lab techs and the MRI guy who looks like a cross between Harry Caray and Gilbert Godfried by a big huge window.  My wrist is strapped down over a rubber pyramid and has a bullseye right over the middle of my wrist with some sort of contraption that looks like a drill press looming over it.  He then proceeds to send in one of the lab techs, who is younger than me, to administer the "fluid".  She sticks an IV into my wrist and starts injecting some dye.  It was the most crazy feeling ever.  It felt like someone was pouring a glass of water INSIDE my hand.  Weirdest.Feeling.Ever.  After that Harry Godfried starts the procedure, which is the needle drill press lowering right into the center of my wrist from the top.  Craziness.  After acting tough throughout the whole thing, they come back an tell me the results were "inconclusive".  Awesome.

So the next week, I take the results to the Rheumatologist I was referred to.  He tells me I don't "present" normally, as in I only have symptoms in my right wrist and left shoulder.  Usually RA presents symetrically int he same joints, and even then its usually in either big joints or small joints, not one and the other.  He runs some tests, tells me that I have "Asymmetric" RA and prescribes my first stack:

1 Enbrel shot per week
8 Methotrexate pills per week
20 mg PreniSONE daily
150 MG Diclofenac Potassium daily
Folic acid to counteract the Methotrexate
Mobic to combat the inflammation.

Not Cool.  I took my meds like a good boy and came back in a month.

Saw the RA doc, no change.

He ups the PredniSONE, which from what I hear is a bad thing.

Diagnosis....this sucks.

So here we go with the round and round with the Doc deflecting my questions that I have RA with the fact that my Rheumatiod Factor is high, thus I have RA.

I went for about a year to this guy before I decided:

A:  I don't like him
B:  He's treating me like a statistic.

Research begins.  I start looking for a new Rheumatologist. 

To be continued...

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