Once more, into the breach!

My wife is disabled from the effects of chronic Lyme disease. My mother is disabled due to atypical Rheumatoid Arthritis. Those statements are background for my terror today:

I have severe inflammation in both my hands – I haven’t been able to put my wedding ring on for two days, and my hands are puffy and hot to the touch. Add to this other assorted joint pain, and seeing a doctor was indicated.

I wasn’t really prepared for his reaction: I’m having a panel of tests done including the worthless Lyme test (insurance won’t let you start with the more useful Western Blot test), an Rheumatoid factor test, tests for Lupus, and a bunch of others.

Frustratingly, until those tests come back, the only thing he can prescribe for me is lots of ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory, and moist heat for my hands. The ibuprofen hasn’t been working so far – this is a case where I lament that Merck pulled Vioxx: that is the one anti-inflammatory drug which actually worked on me (I took it once for back trouble, and it was like a minor miracle) – I wish that the government had merely said “you hid safety data, but we would have approved it even with those risks; therefore we hereby invalidate your patent” instead of pressuring them to withdraw it entirely. Even more frustratingly, the tests for Lyme have lots of false negatives, and only about 75% of people with RA have a positive RF test. Argh.

So anyway, I’m now at the point where the fear and anxiety set in: what now?

(obviously, the next step is “get test results, make appointments with specialists anyway,” but the fear is there just the same.)


About thegameiam
I'm a network engineer, musician, and Orthodox Jew who opines on things which cross my path.

5 Responses to Once more, into the breach!

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m scared too, but whatever comes of it, we’ll get through it together. Though I am seriously thinking we should have our mezuzot checked ;). Love you.

  2. Ellie says:

    Can they do a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation? I’ve also been prescribed Celebrex as an alternative to ibuprofen. When I had an inflammation in my foot though, the cortisone shot worked wonders to reduce the pain, and it worked almost instantly. I know that doctor’s don’t do the shot right away, until you take the ibuprofen and say “well that didn’t help”, so maybe you can wait a day and go back and ask for one???

    I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble! It is very scary to go through health crises like this.

  3. Miriam G. says:

    I am so sorry you’re going through this, David. I don’t know what I could possibly do from NY to help you guys out, but if there is anything I can do beside try to put in a good word to God, please let me know.

  4. Margaret says:

    I’ll run a western blot for you! I would just need a bit of the antibody… 🙂

    Best wishes! I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you and Sarah

  5. Ellie says:

    I was talking to a friend about this on our run and she mentioned that her mom has an allergy to raw shrimp that causes her hands to swell up, and that you might also be experiencing an allergic reaction, so if nothing comes up with the tests (and I hope it’s nothing bad) then maybe get allergy tests done??? I realize it’s totally annoying when people pass along third-hand doctoring information like this, but sometimes it’s how we spread ideas, so feel free to ignore.

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