Today was interesting. I saw my rheumatologist at 8 a.m.
The good stuff: He feels my RA is under good control and called it “mild” as compared to the past. (Considering how really bad it could be, I have to agree, even as I cuss my sore hands). After I’d called a few weeks ago asking for advice (and a possible sooner appointment) regarding my sore, “loose” hips after taking those longish walks with Finny, I was given an appointment to have my hips x-rayed. I did. Today, my doc told me my hips look great (yay!) and they’re just fine, rheuma-wise. This is good to know.
Not-so-good stuff: So where did that pain and weird feeling of looseness come from? Did I just walk too far?
Nope. I have trochanteric bursitis in both hips.
The answer for that is to build up my walking distance and speed with care, taking it slowly. Stop if I hurt. And if that doesn’t do it, and I still experience discomfort, or if it increases, my doc will refer me to a physiatrist for (gulp) steroid injections and whatever else physiatrists do. I’m good with that, but I’d much prefer to avoid those needles if I can.
Another good thing: I told him I research my RA and the drugs and treatments pretty thoroughly, and asked if he minds that I do, his reply came with a big grin: “That’s just what I like my patients to do. Never feel that you can’t ask me questions or show me things you’ve learned.”
More not-so-good stuff: First, I forgot to ask him about starting plaquenil. He’d wanted to wait until this appointment to prescribe it so that I could have my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist first. I did – and got a new prescription for my glasses, which I love, because I can see now, and I got an all-clear for starting the drug. But my doc didn’t bring the plaquenil up today ( I guess because I’m doing well with Arava and sulfasalazine) and dang, I completely forgot.
Why did I forget? Well …
For some reason, my blood pressure was way up this morning at his clinic. The nurse took it twice with the machine, and then again, later, manually. It was still very high. Alarmingly high. I don’t have high blood pressure, and I’m not one of those people who has “white coat syndrome.” (Well, at least not as long as the white-coat in question isn’t about to stick needles into tender spots.). My doc was concerned enough about it that he told me to go to the ER as soon as I left his office and get checked out.
And that’s how I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon: on a cot in the ER with a blood pressure cuff on my arm. The first reading they did showed it slightly high (not even near the earlier readings), but not anything to get excited about. The 45 subsequent readings were all dead normal. I read a lot more of Anansi Boys on my Kindle and (I tried not to, really!) listened to the fascinating conversation between the nurses, the doctor and the drunk alcoholic the next cot over. It was just like reading a medical blog!
Finally, they declared me healthy and sent me and my normal BP home with instructions to follow up with my PCP on Monday.
Sigh. I just saw her for my 6-month checkup on Wednesday this week. My BP wasn’t high. It hasn’t been during any of the appointments I’ve had this week, and not only did I spend practically every day in one VA clinic or another because of the dog bite on my hand, they stuck needles in it.
But I will be good and will try to see her, or at least make an appointment, on Monday, when I have to go to the hand surgeon again for a check, anyway.
Final good thing: My dog-bitten hand seems to be healing just fine. It’s sore this evening as I write this, but that could be because I haven’t had a moment to soak it and change the dressing even once today. So that’s my next trick. Soak the hand. Try to pick out any green stuff I find in the wounds with the nifty forceps (tweezers) they gave me. (Ew. Ow.) Re-bandage the hand. Repeat three times tomorrow.
Happy stuff: Mr Wren and I stopped at the feed store on the way home (he needed crickets for the baby ducks he’s raising). This store has dog stuff, too, so I got Finny a great big nasty ol’ bone to chew on and a new harness for our walks. I don’t like pulling on his neck.When we got home, I promised the wee guy we’ll take a good, long walk tomorrow. He seemed quite pleased.
Finally, I liked this bit from Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys and wanted to share it:
“Each person who ever was or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead.”
Isn’t that just the loveliest passage?