Thursday, February 4, 2010

Adventures in Cleveland

Tomorrow, or rather today...I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. I'm not really sure what they're hoping to find...the only thing they could tell me about my recent labs were that they were consistant with inflamation--thank you captain obvious! I have RA, when do my labs NOT show inflamation? Anyway, the point of my rather spur of the moment appointment, is to get a second opinion. Last weekend, while on vacation no less...I know how to time it right? I got this nasty rash. I know, you're in for some awesome details to my wonderful life for the past week or so... It started out with just a little bit of a reaction on my arms, kinda near my wrists, and continued to spread and increase in intensity for the remainder of the weekend. It didnt even itch right away, I was just unfortunately aware that a flare up was basically inevitably coming. Yay me... By Saturday, we'd made a trip to Target for Benedryl. The fact that it didn't immediately progress into a typical (for me) flare up made me hopeful--maybe it was just an allergic reaction to the laundry detergent my brother's family used. Sadly, this appeared to not be the case. By Tuesday, I was so uncomfortable I marched myself down to urgent care after my doctor refused to prescribe Prednisone without seeing me first. After two days on high doses of Prednisone, and with the rash continueing to spread--by this point it was everywhere except my face, I got my Rhuematologist to fit me into their schedule for Thursday. They prescribed Atarax and IBProphin, gave me some paperwork for lab work, and told me to make an appointment with my allergist who I then saw Friday. By this point, I'm on so many medications, I can't even keep them straight, and its still a complete mystery. My allergist, even had the "new guy" come in and take a look. They both agreed that they'd never seen anything like it. Awesome...and completely unhelpful, thank you. So, Tuesday rolls around and my dr's office calls to ask me how things are going...and to basically tell me that they can't figure what else it can be other than a rhuematoid flare up, but they'd never seen one such as mine. I apparently have a knack for having the weirdest flare up symptoms. While a rash is apparently very common, it had only been the second time I'd had one, so when it happened last time, I wasnt aware it was RA related and went to my pcp. This time, I skipped that and went straight to my rhuematologist. This would have been my fourth flare up, I'm not really counting it, because I didnt really have any arthritis type symptoms/problems. My last three, have been one-two week long ordeals that include me spending most of that time in bed, with astronomical temperatures. I'm not kidding--I average around 104. Last time, my temp held out for four days without going down. That really freaked them out. Dr's take serious issue when you reach temps high enough to cause brain damage...Anyway, all this to say, my flare ups are never normal, and they're concerned with that and the fact that they have been pretty frequent lately...I've basically had one every 6-9 months for the last two years. They want a second be sure that it is in fact just my RA and I don't have something else going on. So its off to Cleveland I go....later that is. I'll post more when I know more.

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