A shot in the back

Those of you who have been keeping up with this blog know about the problems I've been having with my doctor. I made another request this week to get results of my bloodwork, which was taken on March fifth. Yesterday I got a call back from the nurse who told me that the results were back (as if I didn't know that already, it had been a month!) and that my markers hadn't changed much - I showed a one-hundredth of a percent of improvement on my SED rate, but that was all. Then she asked how I responded to the steroid. I reminded her that I had called her about it several times and had left messages to say that it worked pretty well. I also reminded her that the doctor had said I could continue low-dose steroid treatment to help with the pain and inflammation. She replied that the doctor did not continue steroid treatments, despite the fact that they both told me he would.

I felt completely jerked around and I told her so, though I used different words. She did not try to explain why they didn't return my calls, just reminded me that I have an appointment coming up in May. We got off the phone but it was only an hour until she called me back. She said the doctor took a look at my test results and was concerned that I hadn't improved. He believed that if the Plaquenil wasn't working by now, it was time for a change of treatment. He wants me to take methotrexate.

MTX, as it is called, is a cancer medication that has shown promise in treating RA. I don't want to take it. The side effects are nasty and the risks of feeling even worse than I already do are frightening. I told the nurse about my concerns and she said she would mail me some information to weigh so I could make an informed decision.

I can't describe how crazy this is or how alone I feel at the moment. I don't think my doctor cares about the outcome - he had the test results for a month before he even looked at them. He says I've hit the three month mark with Plaquenil and should see beneficial change if it's going to come, but he's looking at test results from just 6 weeks after beginning the medication to make his decision. Other things in my life have suddenly come undone and this feels like another shot in the back. I don't know how much more bad news I can take. I am praying that something good comes soon. Anything good.

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