Apparently, my guardian angel has returned from her vacation!

My guardian angel took an unannounced vacation, shortly before Christmas 2006, and was AWOL until the 7th of this month!  How do I know she hasn’t been around? Because she was apparently replaced by her Evil Twin! Because a widely diverse series of medically-related issues has made much of the past two months either painful, extremely anxious or both!

1- In early December, 2006, I finally made the difficult decision to proceed with reconstructive surgery on both feet. (It should have been done several years ago, but the time away from work and the surgical method involved have made me ‘drag my feet’.)  My surgeon agreed that it was past time, and we discussed mid-February for the first procedure.

1A – Just before Christmas, a fairly deep and wide-spread infection took hold in my right heel. By mid-January, based on the extremely slow rate of healing, the doctor decided the reconstructive surgery isn’t possible.

2 – I have been with the same Rheumatologist for 23 years. He’s the one who diagnosed my symptoms as rheumatoid arthritis, after my primary-care physician decided that what I needed was psychiatric help! He has helped me cope with the fatigue and depression aspects of RA, as well as the joint damage and pain. Over the years, he has learned to accept the facts that I will argue about my treatment plan, and sometimes I don’t give in and do it his way!

2A – On December 27th, 2006, I was informed that the 23 year doctor-patient relationship had ended! A massive heart attack has forced him into an early & sudden retirement, and I have been “assigned” to one of the other doctors in the clinic….one I am not sure I have ever even seen before. Oh, yes . . . I also get to stress-out about this until February 9th – my next scheduled appointment!! (“There’s No Way this man is going to read through 23 years of a patient’s file”. . .”His thoughts on RA treatment don’t have to agree with mine, but how will he react if/when I disagree?”. . . “What if I don’t like him?”. . .)

3 – For over a year now, a heart murmur and cardiac arrhythmia have been part of my medical chart; both mild, both well controlled with a daily 240mg dose of cardizem (a beta-blocker).

3A –  I can’t even remember what, now, but something went hay-wire in December! By *hay-wire*, I mean that I found myself in the cardiologist’s office on January 2nd, 2007 undergoing an EKG, stress-test (chemical variety – treadmill versus braces and orthotics? Not a good idea!), ultrasound and cadiac x-ray, plus full panel blood work! That’s more than enough to get one’s imagination working overtime and ratchet up the anxiety level while waiting for the results!

4 – A few months ago, my (first) Rheumatologist and I agreed that a Humira injection every other week (the usual dosage) wasn’t keeping the RA under control very well. Solution: new Rx – one injection weekly. (I’m still not sure how well that will perform; the heel infection and other things have interferred quite often with the drug therapy.)

4A – Almost two weeks ago, I ordered a refill of the Humira from our local Walgreen’s. Surprise!  It’s a new year – -new deductible – -a *specialist* panel at the insurance company reviewing some of the (high-ticket) Rx’s- -can’t have my Humira till they give the O.K.!  O.K. delayed because staff at rheumatology clinic aren’t in any rush:-(  I finally get my hands on the ‘before’ refill (two doses) while trying to expedite info-sharing by my clinic!  Is the insurance company going to approve an additional $1,157.76 per month?? I sincerely doubt it!!!!

Oh! For Comic Relief (I wasn’t laughing!) – during this same time period, I:

– Ran out of Vicodin, fell down some stairs at home and couldn’t get the Rx filled for several days!

– Drove from San Antonio to Austin (and back), in the dark, with my *Service Engine* light glowing brightly at me! (Bear in mind that I drive a car which can – and does – drop approximately 80-85% of its engine power if it feels that warnings are being ignored!!)

Slow-forward to:

Wednesday, Feb. 7th – Item #4A:  In a move which has left me completely stunned. . . .our medical insurance approved the once-a-week Humira injections!! Now that I am infection-free and there’s no need to *hoard* what I have on-hand, I can get back on schedule!

Thursday, Feb. 8th – Item #3A:  My appointment with the cardiologist (to go over all the test results.)  The Good News is —-I *aced* the stress test, scoring much better than they expect an average 30-Something patient to score! —My arteries are so clear it is rediculous! — My bad cholesterol is high. . . .but my good cholesterol is so high that it doesn’t really matter! LOL!! —I have three heart valves with minor leaks. Most people have two, even if they haven’t been diagnosed yet. My third leaky valve is “The one cardiologists Do Not Want To See” according to my doc. It’s the aortic valve. However, the leakage is so slight that my next appointment is six months from now!

Friday, Feb. 9th – Item #2A:  My first (and dreaded) meeting with my new Rheumatologist took place this morning. I am STILL breathing deep sighs of relief!! He has a sense of humor – – -he isn’t “full of himself” and doesn’t have a “God complex” – – -he’d like me to consider changing my drug therapy program – – -he thinks my Irish-stubborn approach to RA has served me extremely well!!

#1??  Well, no – surgery on the feet is still out of the question. (You can’t have everything, even with an Irish guardian angel!)

Comic relief . . . the danged *service* light went out one day after the Austin run! LOL!  (And yes, I eventually got a Vicodin refill.)

The next time she needs to take a vacation, I demand advance notice! I shall find a small, cozy cave and hide in it until she returns!!!

3 Responses to “Apparently, my guardian angel has returned from her vacation!”

  1. Glad to hear your guardian angel is back on duty. Mine takes one day a year off (July 11) and the rest of the time triages problems against a set of priorities I don’t always agree with. Still, they keep us going, so here’s to ’em.

    (Trying a different eddress to get past the hyperactive spam filter.)

  2. Stan says:

    Bottom line………………….

    Blame it ALL on thr Republicans. It’s THEIR fault.

    NOW, don’t you feel better????

    😉

    XOXOXOXO,
    Stan

  3. Shannon says:

    Now if she could just assist you and dad in quitting smoking…

    (Can’t fault a daughter for trying…)

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