Sunday, September 23, 2012

RA and Motherhood

As I've already mentioned, to get Caylee here safely we opted for a C-section.  The upside--at least for me--was a fairly easy recovery.  Of course, never having delivered a baby vaginally, I have nothing to personally compare it to; however, the C-section recovery was about what I expected from a major abdominal procedure.  That is, the recovery was annoying, inconvenient, and somewhat painful--though of course the wonderful pain meds helped with that last bit lol.  The downside was that it has postponed my restart of my RA medications.

Even more of a downside, for the last week and a half I've been dealing with my first post-pregnancy flare, which has been a doozie.  Luckily, the prescription strength Ibuprofen from my C-section combined with my 20mg a day of prednisone seem to be keeping me at least functioning.  Of course, that's when I remember to take my middle-of-the-day Ibuprofen.  For example, I forgot today and am severely regretting it tonight.  Soon though I will be back on my once-a-day Meloxicam with the prednisone, so hopefully that combination will tide me over until I get to start the big boys.

There are a few hoops for my to jump through before I get to start the rest of my drugs back up.  First comes my MRI this week.  This is sort of like a baseline for the post-pregnancy condition of my joints.  Of course, it's also a way to measure how much damage I've managed to do by being off of my meds since November of 2010.  Should be interesting!  I also am probably going to have to get more bloodwork done--as always lol.  Of course, last week, the tests saw some slight elevations in a few areas, so I had to do a repeat on Friday.  Since I haven't heard anything this weekend, I'm assuming no further issues showed up, but I should get a phone call to confirm that either Monday or Tuesday.

After that, the next step is to get my postpartum clearance from Dr. F.  That will be next week.  I don't foresee any issues with that appointment--I seem to be pretty much healed up.  And if I haven't been taking it as easy as I should be, at least I haven't been vacuuming or lifting objects heavier than Caylee.  In other words, I haven't done anything the doc needs to hear about, unless she detects an issue on her own!  Lol.  The day Dr. F clears me, Dr. C will call in my methotrexate prescription and I'll be back to my weekly injection.  I'm not looking forward to that AT ALL, but I am looking forward to a month or so down the road when the drug reestablishes itself in my system.  At that point, hopefully I'll see some improvement!

Finally, there's my insurance company's prior approval process for my Remicade infusions.  We're billing it differently this time, which should help with the financial end of that medication.  It's amazing what you can learn about your insurance when you have the time to call and chat with people about something you read in your policy!  There shouldn't be any issue with getting approval, so we went ahead and scheduled my first infusion appointment for the week after my postpartum clearance appointment.  In around two months, I should start seeing improvement from the Remicade establishing itself in my system.

Until then, I'll keep on keeping on.  Bryan's been a big help during this flare, as always.  I'm so lucky to have him!  That said, I'm looking forward to getting this nonsense back under control.  Believe it or not, it hasn't been anywhere near under control since the Enbrel stopped working during my first year of teaching.  So, here's hoping this drug combo will do the trick!  And of course, hooray for the end of my prednisone usage FINALLY being in sight.  I hate that drug, as much as it does the job.

So anyway, that's where things stand RA-wise.  Wish me luck in regards to the MRI--unrealistic as I know it is, I'm still hoping that Dr. C tells me there hasn't been any progression!  Hey, a girl can dream, right? ;-)  For now, I'm going to go enjoy my last bit of evening with my hubby and baby girl before I head to bed.  Gnite!


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