There are sometimes days or even weeks that go by that I don’t interface with a health practitioner. But, I tell you what, the last week or so has been challenging. Here are some updates:
- I went in for the manometry testing for Achalasia (which, if anyone asks, was not pleasant). The testing doctor’s office worked with gastroenterologist to get me a quick appointment and promised the results would be back this week. My gastroenterologist worked me in for an appointment to discuss the results and, guess what? The results aren’t available. The testing doctor was out of town. His medical assistant was at a conference and his nurse had called in sick. So my gastroenterologist was not able to reach ANYONE at the other doctor’s office and was therefore unable to give me any information about the situation and probably won’t for another week or two.
- The manometry was on a Friday. After the weekend, I was scheduled for some nuclear medicine testing to determine if my knee replacement was infected or had come loose. This is similar to an MRI. It’s not bad, but it’s tedious and spread out over a couple of days because the radioactive material they inject has to circulate through your body. Turns out the knee is great. However, my spine showed compression fractures and degenerative changes (which I now have to see my neurosurgeon about) and my right shoulder showed a marked increase in arthritic changes since I had it checked last (so I have to see that doctor’s office as well). My knee ortho doc, who is a super guy, had me come to the office even though the knee looked fine. He wanted to do an exam to see if he could figure out what was wrong. At the end of the exam, we agreed on a steroid injection to see if that would help (which so far it has). I am hopeful that all this turns out to be nothing more than a strained ligament or tendon.
- The day after the nuclear imaging, I was scheduled for my biologic infusion. I am a hard stick anyway, but this was beyond ridiculous. Over a three-hour period two different people tried (and failed) to start the IV. (The entire infusion is only 30 minutes long.) They stuck me eight times without success. A couple of times they actually hit the vein but then blew it out. This was on a Thursday. They had me come back the following Monday and stuck me three more times without success. I am on Simponi Aria which is the IV formulation of Simponi which is the injectable version. The great people at Janssen (who manufacture the drug) were able to point me to some publicly available studies on the two versions of the drug and, after discussion with my doctor, I am temporarily doing the Simponi injections to get me through my upcoming vacation. I am scheduled to try the infusion again when I get back from vacation. If they have problems with the IV again, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Medicare pays for infused medication, but injections come under the drug plan which may not be covered.
So that’s been my adventures in Medical Land lately. The good news is I am going to be off the grid for a while doing fun stuff.
I hope whatever adventures you have are wonderful. Thanks for checking in.