Today, my journey to the -ologists takes me to the Rheumatologist (Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor). When we last left this doctor, he had prescribed me with some steroids to take and told me to come back in a month to see how we were doing. Ive been taking the steriods and they have been doing an ok job; I haven't been in daily pain but I have had strange, isolated incidents (pain when writing, strange stiffness in the left arm).
Oh, and quick side note, dislike this medication for two reasons- 1. has a god awful taste! and I take 3 of them a day! and 2. The main side effect is minor puffyness in the cheeks, so I do not look like a stinking chipmunk, but I have little baby-fat cheeks that make me look 5 years younger than I already did, so instead of being a 20 year old who looks 17, I am now a 20 year old who looks about 12....dislike!!!!
Ok, moving on...
The doc takes a look at all my joints, does the poking, prodding and bending (this is a very painful procedure at times, he basically is taking all my joints and bending them to see the level of resistance) He finds some random fluids in my knees and in a couple fingers and some resistance in my left wrist. He then tells me that, because I am transitioning in 2 months (2 months from tomorrow I turn 21, so I have to go to the adult Rheumatologist- I am at a children's hospital for my rheumatoid right now), he wants to try to get my disease in as much control as he can before shipping me off to the new guy...or girl I should say. So, he decides to give me Enbrel.
You may or may not have seen commercials for this drug on the TV, this along with Humira are two of the more popular commercial drugs for RA. It is an injection that I have to give to myself once a week, typically in the leg. There are really no side effects with this drug and it is practically guaranteed to work!
The bad side comes in when you find out that the cost of the drug is about $16,000 a year! Its pretty much a second college tuition. I thankfully have insurance, but because of the cost of the medication and I did not expend every single option before I am trying this one, getting them to pay for this is a fight. So now my doctors and I are going to fight with the Insurance for the next week until they decide to give me the drugs that I need. The nurse gave me this really cool travel bag to keep my bio-hazard box in for when I travel *coughDisneycough* and it has some good information for me!
I also left the doctor with a script to get an MRI done for my jaw. Its not opening as far as it should and he wants to make sure that the TMJ I have has not gotten any worse.
So, thats the (somewhat) short of my doctors appointment. Feel free to leave me any comments or questions you have.