09 April 2007


It seems it has been awhile since I've posted an update. Wow..October was the last one. Well a lot has happened since then. In Nov. we dropped Arava down to half the dose to see if some of the problems I was having was due to it. Then in Dec. we stopped Arava and replaced it with Imuran. The side effects did not stop and by two weeks after lowering the dose, I started swelling horribly in my feet. To the point that we upped my Neurontin to stop the tingling. We also switched my pain med from 3 times a day to 4 times a day. Which helped. In January, we restarted Arava. And I scheduled the first of the nerve blocks on my left side to prepare for an RFA. Well, I just said I am ready to do the left side and figured that's what was scheduled. Turns out it was scheduled as an RFA. The doctor gave me the choice of doing the RFA without the diagnostic blocks and it maybe not being the right nerves or doing the blocks and returning the next week for the RFA. To me, if he was willing to do the RFA without the block, then he must have confidence it would work somewhat. So I said let's do the RFA. He made sure I'd not be angry at him if it didn't work. I wouldn't be as I know even with the block, there is a chance it won't work. It did. My lumbar area is not nearly as painful as it used to be.

Still having the pain and swelling in my feet. And I'm not a "sweller" generally. Had my first Decadron shot in 3 years in Jan. as well. That helped a ton as did restarting Arava. But, the swelling is still there. I asked for another in Feb when I had company and it wasn't as wonderful as the first. I'll definitely ask for one before my vacation back home because even a little help from it is great!

We now think I have plantar fasciitis in both feet. So doing the conservative care thing for now. Eventually it may lead to injections and worst case, it will lead to surgery. Been having a ton of pain in my right hip since mid-Feb. Think it is RA related...but doc also raised possibility of AVN, which is not what I want it to be. If it turns out that it's not those or something like bursitis, then Stacy (the NP at my PM doc's office) said we should consider a lumbar disc issue causing nerve pain into that hip. Which means ESIs (except with my daily intake of prednisone those may not help), a rhizotomy or surgery. If it is RA in my hip, not much to do. AVN there are all kinds of things to do with the last thing being surgery. So, there's three things now that last resort is surgery. Lovely.

We're trying to get me switched from Humira to Remicade as well. Doesn't look like Humira is doing anything. So, as soon as things get all approved, we'll do that. I found out last week I've been highly undermedicated on my pain medicine. Turns out the medicine I take is a liquid based on a dose of 7.5/500 mgs in 15 ml. Most liquid meds are based on the mgs in a 5 ml dose. So when they converted my dose last year from 5/500 mg pills to liquid, it was figured on the 5ml dose not 15. My NP decided to up my meds last week. And she was figuring the liquid dose based on the available med in her computer and it came out to being not quite 6 times the amount I was currently taking. HUH??? So, I asked at the pharmacy and we found out I'd been taking too little. So they got it all fixed. I actually upped what I'm taking but we haven't upped my dose. I was supposed to be taking the equivalent of (1) 5/500 mg Lortab three times a day. I was taking about 1/5th of that amount. So, we got it to where I am now actually taking what I should have been all along. And it's working! I'm not at all upset with anyone for this mistake because there are three entities involved. My NP who looks at the meds monthly, the pharmacy and myself. I know I should always check these things. And I never did. Any one of us could have caught that. So, no one to blame or be upset with. I told the people who apologized to me that it was nothing and at least we didn't go the other direction and over-medicate me.

On the home front, my hubby got his long awaited promotion. He's now manager of a store on Hwy 544 in Myrtle Beach/Socastee. Bastian is now 5 and going to be starting school in the fall. I'm still waiting on my disability decision. Even with increased meds, I'm not able to do things like I need to do. I can do what I have to do with a lot of help but...doing the extras even is rough.

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