Several years ago I worked with a woman who, due to a number of changes in the company, decided to quit her job. In a time where people actually wrote memos instead of text messages, she spent about an hour carefully composing an eloquent, concise letter of resignation. Then she came to my office a bit bewildered. The entire management team was out. She had no one to whom she could deliver her resignation.
I suddenly feel a lot like her. I’m ready to get off this RA joy ride, but I can’t find anyone in charge to accept my resignation. Some days I can cope, but lately it’s been hard and I’m tired of it.
Last Thursday I went back to see the neurosurgeon concerning the results of the MRI on my back. This is one of those times I really wish the pain was in my imagination. Unfortunately, it’s due to a herniated disk and severe degeneration of the adjacent two vertebra. It appears that the herniated disk is pressing against a nerve coming out of the right side of my spine causing pain. I’m currently scheduled for surgery on April Fool’s Day. They’ll remove the disk and fuse the two vertebra together. Sometime prior to that time, I have to go in for a myelogram so the doctor can get a clear image of what’s going on in my back. Nothing like getting needles stuck in your spine.
In the meantime, I will start the Euflexxa injections in my knee with the hope that it will hold my knee pain at bay until I can get through this back situation. Then I’ll worry about surgery on it.
The bad news is that I’m still in the midst of unpacking having moved back in after all the renovation/repair work in the house. I spent all day Friday through Monday unpacking and half a day Tuesday. I was in so much pain by Sunday night that I dug out an old Percocet prescription just so I could go to sleep. Monday I started a prednisone taper. Between the steroids and the pain meds, I’m making it. But the steroids will be gone in a couple of days, and I have one more shipment of about 80 boxes coming to the house next week. Sigh.
The good news is that (at least for the moment) my health insurance issues seem to have calmed down. Things that got denied have been reprocessed and I’m no longer in fear of having to go to doctors appointments with the assurance of health coverage. (Fingers crossed that it lasts!)
I don’t know that my back issues are related to RA, but when you do have RA, it’s a safe bet that you have a lot of inflammation and that certainly can contribute to disk and vertebra degeneration. The knee issues are definitely RA related. I’m going to have an interesting conversation with my rheumatologist next month. I haven’t had a lot of flares or swollen joints, but I can’t help but wonder if my treatment plan is really working when I have the problems I’m having.
So, in the meantime, if you can find out who is in charge so I can send in my letter of resignation, I’d appreciate it. Thanks for checking in.