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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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RA also stands for Really Apprehensive

I canít decide if yesterdayís rheumatology appointment went well. Dr. B ordered a flu shot, another chest x-ray and prescribed another course of Prednisone. She agreed with me that things are not going well, and that furthermore my recovery has not just plateaud but has actually begun worsening. She called me stoic.

I donít know if itís stoicism, actually, that has allowed me to live with a certain level of pain and lack of mobility in my joints. I think itís more that rheumatoid arthritis is new to me and I donít know what to expect. Iím just glad I rescheduled my appointment so that I could see her sooner. In combatting this disease, itís important to move quickly. And itís important to be a demanding and dissatisfied customer.

The levels of inflammation in my body are down (according to my blood work) but there are signs (the lump* on my right hand among them) that RA is still attacking. I am now going to be moving into Phase 2 of therapy which entails adding another drug to my cocktail. The weird thing is, the new drug, called a BRM or Biologic Response Modifier, is not delivered in pill form. No, I will either have to inject myself daily, or submit to monthly transfusions at Yale. Dr. B prefers daily injections, but the decision to choose one or the other treatment will largely depend on my insurance provider and what they want me to do. Because of course they are better authorities on my RA than my fucking rheumatologist.

Iím freaked out, but at the same time, relieved that the alarm Iíve been feeling about my condition isnít irrational. A lifetime in dance and now yoga has made me more than hyper aware of my body, and I know down in my bones (and joints and synovial fluid) when something ainít right.

* itís too early to tell if the lump is a rheumatoid nodule. It could also be some sort of gangliar inflammation caused by some kind of trauma to the tissue. The BRM will make it go away, hopefully.

12:40 p.m. - 2005-10-07

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