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I guess progress is being made, although sometimes it feels more like paint drying. Thought I’d bring you up to speed with some of the updates I posted previously.

  • I had my liver biopsy last Friday. It couldn’t have been easier although while I was sedated, I certainly remember the entire procedure. The worst part was having to lay still for three hours afterward to make sure I hadn’t sprung a leak. I can’t lift more than five pounds for two weeks nor can I drink alcohol for a week afterward. Both of these can be challenging during the busy holiday season. I haven’t gotten the results yet, but I am optimistic that there won’t be anything serious showing up.
  • The biopsy results are important because my rheumatologist won’t discuss altering/increasing my RA treatment plan until they come back. This is discouraging because I feel like I’ve been in a flare for the last year. I’m just thankful that I made the decision to “retire” a few weeks ago.
  • I had my second Actemra infusion two days ago. The only issue is that they used up all my “good” veins during the liver biopsy so starting the IV for the infusion was a bit more challenging than usual. I didn’t have the headache I had last time, but I’m still not feeling that it’s making a dent in the pain and swollen joints.
  • Started physical therapy for my knee. Turns out that it might be my IT band instead of my knee. The pain has been where the IT band connects to the knee and when the therapist was working on it, it was painful all the way up to my hip. It would be great if that were the case. Even though my recent knee check up and X-rays show a close-to-perfect replacement, I’ve been worried that there really was something amiss. IT band problems can be treated successfully.
  • I don’t think I mentioned that I have been having heel pain and was referred to a foot and ankle doctor. It doesn’t appear that there is a full tear of the Achilles tendon or other “urgent” situation. The doctor injected my heel which provided some relief for a couple of days, but I think there is an MRI and further investigation in my future.
  • I am still navigating the treacherous waters of COBRA and changing health insurance companies. It is, literally, a daily battle of checking websites, emails to my previous company’s HR department, calls to insurance customer service staff etc. The issue is that I need to my physical therapy appointments next month approved along with my Actemra infusion and right now there is no evidence that I have insurance starting January 1.
  • And the disability claim process continues to drag out. This has also taken hours of my time on the phone and sending materials. Just when I think they have everything, I find out they have gone back to my doctors for even more information. I guess the good news is that at least, to this point, they haven’t denied the claim.
  • I finally get out of my back brace this week (after three months!). That’s a great holiday gift.

I am hopeful that all these things are resolved before the end of the year. In the meantime, my best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for checking in.

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