Happy New Year. It seems like it’s been a while since I posted (or for that matter, had a chance to catch up on the many other blogs I enjoy). I have been working on a project that’s taken my nights and weekends and just finished up today. So, whew, let me catch you up on recent events.
December brought two doctor’s appointments — my normal rheumy check up and an impromptu visit to my knee surgeon.
The rheumatologist appointment went well. Even with all the stress in my life, my RA has stayed petty much at bay. It appears that my current cocktail of Orencia and 10 mg of Arava is helping. My major complaint lately has been fatigue, but with everything going on, it’s not surprising that I’m tired.
The knee surgeon is a bit of a different story. My left knee (the one that had surgery in March) has been bothering me. It’s not RA related (at least not directly). It’s very specifically painful and it’s painful when I put weight on my knee. X-rays revealed increased osteoarthritis in the knee and narrowing of the joint. The only real “cure” is a knee replacement, but we’re not there (yet). What I didn’t do, and should have, is ask the doctor to compare these X-rays with the ones we took in March. That would show us how quickly the knee is degrading. As it was, it was the Wednesday before Christmas, so the doctor did a steroid injection to help me through our annual Christmas trip. It did help through the trip, but it’s pretty much quit working a couple of weeks later. We’ve been moving out of the house this week getting ready for our major renovation. All the lifting, packing, toting, etc., etc., etc. has really taken its toll.
The next step(s) on the knee is (perhaps) a series of Hyalgan injections. These are given once a week for five weeks and help replenish the natural lubricating fluid in the joint. I’ve found some other medications (such as Synvisc) that don’t require quite so may injections. I see the surgeon again in February and we’ll discuss the options. Of course all of this has to be pre-approved by the insurance, so I’ll know more in February. Unfortunately, neither Hyalgan nor Synvisc actually “cure” the osteoarthritis and eventually the knee will have to be replaced. With my current situation, being on COBRA, I need to think about this.
In other news, as I mentioned, we’re getting started on the major house renovations. The movers will be here all this week, then we’ll demolish all the floors and subfloors next week. New flooring the following week, followed by new paint, and new kitchen cabinets. Sometime in early February we’ll be done. In the meantime, we’re camping out in an extended-stay hotel. If this doesn’t throw me into a flare, I don’t know what will.
So, good-bye and good riddance to 2012. While my RA was pretty well-behaved, the rest of the year seemed like it was one round of bad news after another. I lost my step-mother in January, had knee surgery and shoulder surgery, lost a good friend and co-worker and inherited her department to manage, had a major water leak that requires replacement of all the floors and subfloors in the house, and got laid off. I’m hoping that 2013 is a much better year for us all.
Happy New Year. Thanks for checking in.