It’s been a busy few weeks of doctors and I’m not quite done yet.
The day before Thanksgiving I had my first follow-up rheumy appointment since switching to Cimzia. I have to say that I’m probably on Santa’s “naughty” list. I could not tell that Cimzia was helping — at all. True, it hasn’t been three months yet, but it actually felt like I was losing ground. Cimzia is front loaded with the first three two-week dosages being two syringes before switching to one syringe every two weeks. Because my rheumy had provided samples, then I got a full “starter kit” with six syringes, I had extras. So after the first three “double” doses, I self-medicated and took a fourth double injection. (I know, I know, I know. Told ya Santa was bringing me coal.) I confessed all to my rheumy who really didn’t seem to think it was a big deal, but it was obvious I still had swollen joints. Interestingly the small joints in my hands and feet were giving me issues while previously it has always been my larger joints (hips, knees, elbows, shoulders). We decided to stay the course, but she added in 7.5 of Mobic twice a day. We decided that part of the issue is that I had been on Mobic during my knee recovery and I was no doubt feeling the effects of not being on it. I am doing better, but I don’t know if it’s the Mobic or the Cimzia is actually kicking in.
Then I had the follow-up with my spine surgeon checking on the progress of my spinal fusion surgery. Everything looks great. I am officially released forever (unless I should have any future issues). However, I talked to him about the tingling down my right arm and he believes it is most likely a pinched nerve in my neck that might be helped by a steroid injection.
He ordered an MRI of my cervical spine (to compare to one I had a couple of years ago). As it turned out, I was also scheduled for an MRI on my right shoulder to see if we can figure out why I’m having ongoing pain there. Both of those happened earlier this week and I was able to schedule them at the same facility at the same time. There was a bit of a last-minute scramble to make sure everything was pre-certified by the insurance company, but it all worked out.
So I saw the shoulder surgeon the day following the MRI. Nothing there that would account for the tingling sensation, but there is more arthritis in the joint since we did the second rotator cuff surgery in the fall of 2012 and there was quite a bit of fluid/swelling/inflammation in the bursa. So we did a steroid injection. It wasn’t one of those sub-acromial injections given by his PA, this was one of the deep, inside the joint, hurts like the dickens injection given by the surgeon. I only cried a little bit. It’s weird. My shoulder hurts from the injection, but it does feel better. Hopefully this will help. The surgeon said that at some point in the future I’m looking at joint replacement, but I assured him that we’re not there yet. I still have good range of motion and strength in the arm so unless that changes or the pain gets worse, I’m sticking with the original equipment in that shoulder.
So next week I go back to the spine guy to talk about the neck MRI. As badly as I love/hate steroid injections, I am definitely not looking forward to having my neck/spine injected. But the tingling is making me crazy, so I need to do something.
I also go in late next week for one of those once-a-decade tests that you get to have if you’re over fifty. Not looking forward to that, either, but at least I get a day off of work.
Then it’s Christmas. And the new year. And the new insurance. I was so happy when I got my new insurance card in the mail. With all the chaos caused by changes in the insurance laws, I was really happy to know that I had officially made it through the system and have coverage starting January 1.
I hope your medical schedule is less busy than mine has been and that whatever medical situation you find yourself in, it results in good news. Thanks for checking in.