Just a quick follow-up to the last post. The Rheumy's nurse did call back. Armed with nothing but the message left on their machine from me, the doctor determined that my back pain was indeed due to RA. "Don't you want me to come in and perhaps take an x-ray or something," I asked. No, that's not necessary, I was told. Based on my chart the doctor feels it definitely is RA and since my liver is screwed due to the Methrotrexate which has been decreased to 5 pills per week, my only option now is to go on a biologic, Enbrel.
I expressed my concerns to the nurse concerning the potential of deadly side effects and my horror at the thought of having to shoot myself up with a needle. She poo-poohed them and said as long as I shoot myself in a different location each week there wouldn't be a problem, and as far as the side effects being dangerous, the company has to list all of them even if just one person gets it. They are very "rare" and she's personally never heard of one of their patients have any serious ones. As far as the $20,000+ cost per year, the office had coupons which would help with the price. Yes, I would have to continue taking the MTX too. She closed the conversation by adding it I was her relative she would insist I begin treatment and I would wonder why I hadn't started earlier. I told her I would get back to them the next day.
So off I went to the internet and googled Enbrel, again. I wanted to read what others were saying. Experiences went from it working wonderfully to a husband's lament that his wife was now dead because of it. I guess, just like any drug, everyone has different experiences. Maybe if I didn't have to continue to take MTX I would be more willing to take the plunge...or maybe if it was a cure and not just another treatment I would be more willing to take the plunge...or maybe if I couldn't possibly get MS, lose my vision, or get cancer from it I would be more willing to take the plunge. But right now I'm just not willing to take the plunge. I never called the rheumy's office back...
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