GreenReaper (greenreaper) wrote,
GreenReaper
greenreaper

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My only regret . . .

It started with a stiffness walking into the office from the parking lot each morning. At first I put this down to my move to Texas, and spring weather - I'd had a cold the first few winters in Michigan. My kneecap came out of alignment, but was fixed after a few days of wrapping. My hands hurt, but I type a lot, so I figured it was just a bit of RSI.

A few months later it became hard to get out of my car; then, out of bed. I tried a memory-foam bed topper, which helped, but not enough. By July, I was in pain just trying to raise my arms over my head to get a shirt off in the mornings, or to get to sleep at night; rolling into the shower had become a fifteen-minute ordeal.

Yes; like that guy, I have Boneitis. Or more accurately, rheumatoid arthritis. I'd pretty much figured that out by the time I visited the doctor on Monday 6th, but it was nice to have confirmation.

The tests were quite conclusive - my c-reactive protein was at 64 mg/L, rheumatoid factor at 67 IU/ml, sedimentation rate 51 mm/hr, and CCP antibodies at >250 units (most of these should be 0-5). Ironically the wellness blood tests I'd had for insurance tests a month before had given me an almost perfect bill of health.

This kind of sucks, of course. The good news is the x-rays showed no evidence of joint damage, and methotrexate (the first-line drug) is cheap and plentiful - as is folic acid, which helps to avoid certain side-effects. I'm on 15mg a week of the former, but since it takes a few weeks or more to kick in, I also got a short course of prednisone. This was great - I was out on the dance-floor last Saturday at IndyFurCon - but I'm tapering off them now, and the change is noticeable. 5mg/day makes a big difference!

Oh, and insurance? Covered everything but the X-rays and meds, and knocked those down to $400; painful for a half-day of tests, but quite manageable so far. Alas, X-rays only start to be covered after I pay another $800 out of pocket, but I'm glad I didn't have to pay the $3700 rack rate. It remains to be seen whether methotrexate will be enough, or if I'll need steroids or even the (very expensive) biologic agent injections. Either way, I'm glad I have that HSA . . .
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