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That’s what it says on my résumé, “solutions-oriented professional …” You want a media campaign in eight states in four different channels integrating social media in three weeks? I’m your girl. One of the things I’m best at is figuring out how to effectively and efficiently get from point A to point B with all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. (Trust me, sometimes those anal-retentive, micro-managing, control-freak tendencies can be a curse instead of a blessing …)

So I’ve decided to try to put those talents to work in finding solutions to the various things that have been bothering me.

I’ve already solved one issue. I’ve managed to develop an ulcer with all the medication I’m taking so I’m now back on Protonix. After weeks of feeling like someone was plunging a knife through my middle, I am finally able to sleep the night through without getting up in the night looking for antacids.

Next on the list was my appointment yesterday with one of my orthopedic guys. I’d reported earlier that I was having both hip bursitis pain and knee pain on the left side. While having the hip injected solved the bursitis, it didn’t do anything for the knee. Yesterday, after consulting with my ortho doc, we injected the knee. If that doesn’t help, the next step is an MRI and who knows where that will lead. Interestingly, I was convinced that the issue was osteoarthritis as the pain was consistently in one spot and worsened the more I was on my feet. X-rays revealed that I have basically no OA in the knee and that the issue is, indeed, our friend RA. There is diminished joint space in that area, meaning that the cartilage is wearing thin. If the injection doesn’t resolve the issue, it could be a minor tear in the meniscus or something along those lines. My doctor remains convinced that knee replacement surgery is in my future, although we’re both thinking it’s still a ways out.

Next up is figuring out what’s going on with my shoulder. I see the shoulder doc in about three weeks. The earlier injection in the right shoulder did NOT resolve the issues there, so I suspect I’m in for an MRI for the shoulder. I’m afraid I may have retorn the rotator cuff or something similar.

That appointment is closely followed by my next rheumy appointment. I’m afraid that we’re going to have to have another discussion about my medical cocktail — either adding something or switching from Enbrel to something else (although I’m not sure what). I continue to have those weird, one-joint flares as well as increased general pain and stiffness.

That should get me through January and on the path to getting these things resolved.

The really good news is that I’m just days away from meeting my New Year’s resolution for this year — avoiding surgery. I’ve had one or two surgeries every year for the past several years, and I declared 2011 a surgery-free year. Somehow I don’t think that trend is going to continue into 2012.

I hope whatever issues you have in your life have simple solutions. Thanks for checking in.

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