Well I had my follow up appointment yesterday with my Rheumatologist. I really never thought I would say that for myself. Ob, Internal Medicine, endocrinologist...just never thought about it for me until last month. I was hoping that maybe what I have was a virus and I could stop taking the Meloxicam. I kept saying...tomorrow morning I will wake up and my hands won't hurt and I will get out of bed not looking like a 90 year old woman. I keep apologizing. I'm trying not to complain. My back and my butt (SI joints) I can live with...even my shoulders. It's just hard when it's your hands. I have no strength. At night I get so stiff in my hips and low back. I'm still walking about 3-4 miles a day. That's even harder because I don't want to. Im so tired. Parts of my feet hurt that have never hurt. All this goes away after moving around and I really do feela bit better. It's only when I stop. The ache in my hands and wrists never leave. This doesn't throb and it's not tender to touch the knuckles, well just a couple... I can't call it pain..more of an ache..deep inside and it moves up into my wrists. Its more annoying than anything else or if hit my hand on the side of a table. I do have pain when touched/pressed around hips, shoulders(tendons)and buttocks. A gentle squeeze of my lower back, butt, hips and Achilles and I jump. So the tendons and muscle inflammation is probably a product of enthesitis. I swear I thought it was due to walking.
So my Dr comes in and tells me I'm in the same category as my son...nothing is elevated but my radiologic images tell otherwise. I have erosions to the distal IP joints in both hands and sclerosis of both SI joints more prominent on the right. I have mild degenerative changes primarily to L5 to S1 facets. The Dr thinks I have rheumatoid arthritis because how fast it came on... but both pinkies are tender. My right pinky more so at the first knuckle below the nail. She doesn't think I have psoriasis because I don't have any spots...but both elbows will itch at times and cause odd looking markings... There is a good possibility spondylitis due to the enthesitis and both heels and achilles hurt. At this time she not gonna say. She will wait. It can be a bit confusing that my labs are very good. There is always one that comes up odd...abnormal protein band 1. I dont think Im supposed to have any and I tested high at 0.3. Ya...I dont know. Im trying not to read into too much...I still am wondering about testing positive for scleroderma. Sed Rate is 13 and CRP is .70 so all within normal but its so damn hard to tell and it takes time. Lets play the waiting game. Im glad that she is progressive enough to start me on medication. she is very nice and Im quite pleased with her. My husband wanted me to go get a second opinion. I would if this was the first time I was learning about this but I know how it goes and I know how I feel and I know what shes talking about. If my back gets worse then I will end up going to see a back Dr or someone who specializes in whatever we find out I have. Hopefully in the near future. There is a good Dr at Mayo Clinic whose specialty is AS. I will go see him if I go in that direction.
So I am on MTX at .60ml injections weekly for 2 weeks then to .80ml weekly. I started yesterday and Bruce and I did shots together. I see the dr again in 6 weeks. The Meloxicam is working...I think it works for my back and SI joints but my hands/wrists get better around noon and then comes and goes through out day. I think the Meloxicam is taking the edge off but it's really hard to say. No wonder Bruce doesn't know how to answer sometimes when we ask questions and expect him to tell us exactly how he feels. If I can't describe it, how can he. Sometimes there is just no exact answer.
Bruce is still flaring...we are deciding what to do next. More Remicade or do we move onto Humira? Thank Goodness for Anthony and his massages. For Bruce this really helps to loosen up the back even if it's only for the time he's there.