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It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. I was going to wait until my rheumatologist appointment last week so I’d have something to update, then life at work got hectic then the weekend got away from me and, well, I’m sure you’ve walked in those shoes as well.

I can’t say the rheumatologist appointment went well. Nothing particularly wrong with me. After six weeks on Orencia, my labs looked good (although my labs always look good). However, I’m having knee surgery in two weeks and my surgeon wants me off Orencia and Arava starting, well, now. My rheumatologist is in fits about going off Arava. For one thing, it doesn’t make you quite as susceptible to infection as some of the other RA drugs and, secondly, it stays in your system for months, so getting off of it for two weeks really doesn’t accomplish anything except make the patient (me) feel worse and/or flare because of the RA. So she’s telling me to go off of it one week before surgery and get back on one week afterward. This is contradictory to what my surgeon is telling me. I’ve given it a lot of thought. RA is a long-term disease and this knee surgery is a temporary condition, so I’m going to go with my surgeon on this one. I don’t think an extra week without Arava is going to make any difference in the long term and if my surgeon thinks I’ll do better with surgery and recovery without it, then that’s what I need to do.

My rheumatologist did prescribe Voltaren gel to help my joints while I’m off my meds. Apparently this is in great shortage right now, so I arranged to have the prescription sent to a compounding pharmacy on Wednesday who promised it would be ready on Friday. On Saturday when I went to pick it up, it still wasn’t ready.

It was a rainy Saturday, so I wasn’t in a particularly good mood because I felt bad. (Rain and low-pressure systems do that to me), and the issue with the pharmacy didn’t make it any better. I stood in line and waited for 20 minutes just to find out I wasted my time.

Sunday was a strange day. I kept having problems with a rapid heart rate. I spent most of the day laying down watching television, but even then, my heart rate was well over 100. We almost went to the emergency room (probably should have), but after taking a couple of aspirin, I felt better. Things are a bit calmer today, but I’m still keeping an eye on it.

My annual physical/pre-op check-up is next week and if my heart rate is still funny, I’ll talk to my PCP about it. He does an EKG and chest X-ray as part of the exam, so anything weird ought to show up there.

So anyway, busy week at the office. Next week is pre-op labs and the meeting with the surgeon, then the following week is surgery. Time flies whether you want it to or not.

I hope whatever current events are in your life are happy ones. Thanks for checking in.