Once more, into the breach!
March 17, 2011 5 Comments
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.)