Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Health

So, I've been complaining a lot about doctors and feeling bleh lately and I figured I would explain what its fully all about.

Freshman year of high school (2003-2004), I had some weird sick spells; from poison ivy on my ankle making it swell up to a melon size, to having pain in my wrist every time I would play my flute. My friend had been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel and I thought I would get that checked out, so I went to the doctor after school was out.

That summer was filled with blood tests that told me that I had Lyme Disease, which I had to go on medication for immediately. After a brutal summer which included my second and worst trip to Disney World thanks to the insane medication I was on and a lot of blood work and false diagnoses, I went back to school in the fall with the final diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What we later figured out was that the "poison ivy" that I had in the fall was not really poison ivy, but a tick bite that did not form in the usual bullseye mark, so I never knew it was that. So I had Lyme Disease festering in my body completely unchecked for almost 10 months and while it was wreaking havoc, it brought out my genetic disposition for RA about 50 years earlier than I would have gotten it if I did not get bitten.

I went to a rheumatologist and was given medications to take that worked well with only minor dosage increases for almost two years. It took some getting used to, but I was doing everything I could before with only minor pains.

Problems came back August right before senior year. I had maxed out on the one medication and was given a new one, one with sulfa in it. I was on it for three weeks and was feeling great! The fourth week came and I got really sick. Turns out that I am allergic to sulfa and I was on the brink of having total liver failure. We stopped the meds and went on the old medication so my body could be monitored. It took 5 months for the swelling in my liver to go down completely. After I was better, I started new meds, avoiding sulfa and trying to find something that would work well.

This is what brings us to today. For the last two years, I have jumped from one medication to another. Some have not worked for my arthritis and others just ripped up my stomach so much that I didn't care if the helped the RA cuz I was in too much pain otherwise. I have been on every single NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) that I can go on and none of them work for me and my difficult body. My doctor knows what he wants to do next, he wants to start me on methotrexates. Only problem is that I am switching doctors in September when I turn 21. I am at a children's Rheumatologist right now, so I have to switch in September. The methotrexates are a chemotherapy that my doctor like to carefully monitor because of the extreme affects it can have on the body and, since I will not be with him much longer, he does not have the time to monitor as he will like. So, I have to wait until Oct. 13th to see my new doctor and get the medicine that I need. Right now I am living on a steroid to kind of bide my time until I can go on the medication that I am supposed to go on.

That is my basic health spiel from the last 5 years. Sorry for the length but I figured you guys should have an idea whats going on in my crazy life.

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