My step-brother had one of those momentous birthdays a few months back and, as he was officially going to be an “old fart”, I felt it only appropriate that I gave him a birthday card centered on, well, flatulence. It wasn’t just a short joke on the subject — it was an entire dissertation on the 10 most common types. I don’t remember them all, probably because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t read the card, but the one type I remember most clearly was “silent but deadly.” You know, the one when you’re on the elevator and no one heard it, but suddenly everyone can smell it. (Eewwww!)
Anyway, it got me to thinking that there are no doubt lots of different kinds of RA. RA Warrior has certainly done an excellent job documenting the striking difference between patient experience and what they teach doctors in text books. Just reading a few RA blogs will give you quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that no two cases are alike.
Like that sulfurous elevator demon mentioned above, I’ve decided that I have the silent but deadly type. For all practical purposes, I lead a full, busy life and usually don’t give my RA a great deal of thought unless something provokes me to do so. However, there’s no doubt that I have a very active case of RA eating away at me.
The most recent evidence of RA’s activity was my visit to my orthopedic surgeon for my knee follow-up. I had him pull the X-rays from last March and last December and even to my untrained eye there is a definitive narrowing of the joint. The doctor says that it looks like RA because when it’s osteoarthritis, there are a lot of bone spurs around the joint from the wear and tear. My joint is actually pretty clean, except for the fact that it’s deteriorating right before our eyes. We’re going for the hyaluronan injections, probably Euflexxa, depending on what my on-again/off-again insurance decides they’ll approve.
But the bottom line is, I’m going to need to have the knee replaced. Probably between now and when my COBRA insurance runs out in early 2014. In fact, probably later this year. The Euflexxa is just a hope that may relieve some of the pain between now and when we can get the surgery figured out. It’s certainly not going to cure anything.
In other news, Dr. Spine Guy has ordered an MRI of my back to see what’s going on and/or what’s changed since the last time we did an MRI two years ago. That’s in four days, then I see him three days later for the result. I just hope I don’t have to figure out time for back surgery before the knee surgery.
The really good news is that the insurance scramble has been sorted out (again) and hopefully all these new medical miracles in my life will be at least partially covered.
In other good news, the house is slowly but surely being reconstructed. Like the mummy in those old movies, it’s sucking the life out of my checking account and rebuilding itself. Seriously, it’s going to be great when it’s finished and the movers are supposed to return our stuff in about a week. I’ll post pictures (I promise).
I hope whatever type of RA you have, that it leaves you comfortably alone and your life is filled with pain-free health. Thanks for checking in.