Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bits and Pieces: Overwhelmed with Health Care at Day 12

This new year is only 12 days old and I am already getting overwhelmed by all the health care tasks on my plate.  Good grief!

On Monday I shared about the flare-up that has followed me into this new year.  Well, I went for a medical procedure Monday that only made it worse, yet again. 

I had no idea how much pain I was going to be in.  It hurt so much that I asked the doctor to stop what she was doing at the halfway point and convinced her to reschedule the second half for another day.  Thank goodness Robert drove me to this appointment, as I was in too much pain to drive myself home. 

While the pain caused by the procedure subsided in a few hours, being in that much pain reactivated my hip and low back pain and I have been miserable all week.  Thank goodness for my flare-up kit.  It's making a real difference in easing my pain and helping get through this ordeal.

Tuesday's BIG appointment with my hepatologist went really well.  I got a nice surprise too.  Seems that my viral load went down, from 24 million to just under 10 million.  I attribute the drop to the drug metformin, which I asked my endocrinologist to add to my diabetes care plan.  You can read more about the anti-Hep C effect metformin has here

At that appointment I passed another milestone: right now the paperwork needed to start Hepatitis C treatment is getting completed.  I anticipate that I will begin treatment in February.  But before then, my schedule is packed with additional medical appointments and things I need to get squared away before I go to battle. 

First of all, I need to get an eye exam before treatment.  With some nudging, the eye clinic staff was able to squeeze me into an appointment at the end of the month.  Over the past several weeks, I've also persistently pursued and obtained an appointment with a cardiac arrhythmia specialist for next week.  I am relieved that I will have a doctor on my team who can troubleshoot any potential heart-related complications from Hep C treatment. 

And at my dental cleaning yesterday, the hygienist found a cavity that I am choosing to get filled right away too. 

I wanted to see my pain management specialist too before my life becomes all about Hep C treatment, but I learned yesterday that she has moved to Fresno.  What a shock and disappointment that was!  After the shock wore off, I found myself a little miffed that she hadn't notified me of this huge change or attempted to facilitate the transfer of my care to a colleague. 

It seems like, once again, I have been dumped!  Aargh!

I found her completely by accident, a happy and fortunate accident.  Finding a replacement is going to be really hard--she was the only doctor I saw that was willing to consider all pain medication options for me, including narcotics.  What she prescribed for me is working so well during this current flare-up.  I need a new pain management doctor who will continue to provide me with this real and much needed pain relief.

Despite all the craziness, I haven't completely lost my cool.  In fact, I kind of feel lucky to have so many distractions keeping me from getting worried and stressed about the start of Hep C treatment just a few short weeks away. 

Isn't it funny how the Universe works sometimes...

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Anonymous said...

Be thankful you still have health insurance. I live in a state that unilaterally cut state funded healthcare for all adults between 18-65 who do not have children under 18 or are not already on disability/social security. For those of us who are below the poverty level and sick, it's a devastating blow. I have several health issues besides fibro, and I can't even afford to go to my primary doc. I am unable to get most of my meds, and as a result, wind up laying in bed most of the day in pain, dizzy, depressed, and getting sicker.

Unknown said...

I am extremely thankful I have health insurance and my heart goes out to you.

Iris said...

Your doctor just disappeared without telling you? That is absolutely outrageous!

Felicia Fibro said...

You already know what I think about your pain doc... Despite the pain set back you had, it seems like you're really moving forward and checking things off the list for your Hep C treatment! I'm so excited for ya!