Friday, February 10, 2012

You want the good or the bad news?

So much going on! I'm sorry I haven't posted at all. I will break these last few weeks down for you....the good, the bad, and the ugly. Last we left off I had gone to Boston to my Rheumatologist and we were revisiting my treatment plan and medications. I'm doing well off the Arava. I don't think I was even on it long enough to really make a difference anyways.

I have been having abdominal pain in my upper right quadrant for weeks now. At first we thought it was my kidney stones but then my GP (general practitioner) said the kidney stones were on my left side. She was so sure it was my gallbladder so she sent me for a few tests to confirm. This past Monday I had what they call a HIDA scan where they inject a medication into you to simulate your gallbladder having an attack and they take pictures to see how it's functioning. This test was done in the morning and as the day progressed my pain got worse. By that night I was doubled over and could not lay flat on my back. Tuesday morning I started throwing up from the pain and I was sweating and my blood pressure was high. I called my GP and she told me to come in and see her. During the visit she told me my gallbladder is pristine and functioning perfectly and I needed to go right to the emergency room. Aaaaaaand there came the waterworks. On a side note my GP is one of the most compassionate people I know. Her bedside manner can put anyone at ease and that is what she did. She said I am not giving up on you. We are getting to the bottom of this and fast. She left the room and called the best GI doctor in town. He said to have me go to the emergency room and get hydrated he will run another test. He wanted to get the pain under control so I would stop throwing up. Hydromorphone, you are my BFF, for realz. Both doctors called ahead to the ER while I headed over there. I got hydrated and drugged and then I went home. The next morning my phone rang and it was the GI doctors office. They wanted to see me in their office that day. Keep in mind this doctor called me and I am not a patient yet. We go in and talk with his physicians assistant and she sets me up for an emergency endoscopy with the GI doc the next day. Which was yesterday, Thursday. I go in for the endoscopy and I literally meet my new doctor in the operating room. (normally I would research the bageezes out of a new doctor just to even walk into their office let alone let him come near me with sharp objects but I trust my GP fully. That and my GP has been my GP since I was 15. Yep you don't have to do the math. That's 21 years!) So here I am on the operating table shaking hands, saying nice to meet you, thanking him profusely for fitting me in when I wasn't a patient. He said "Well you are now. Now let's figure this out" and out I go. I wake up and learn that my duodenum is inflamed and they took a biopsy. I have to stop the Celebrex ASAP. Celebrex is a NSAID and one of the only things working right now to combat my puffy joints. So now no DMARDs (my liver can't tolerate) and no NSAIDs which in the RA world is huge. Rheumy and I have lots to talk about in my next visit. GI doctor gave me some Nexium to repair the damage and in a few weeks I'll be golden.

Now on to the kidney stones. Today I met with my urologist up at UCONN medical. (go Huskies) She showed me the CT Scan results. WOW! Yup I have stones. The urologist measured them in CM not MM because they are so big. They are at least 1 CM. Thank God they don't hurt yet! Knock on wood. The theory is RA meds. She doesn't want to blast them because she wants to study them so surgery it is. Fine by me! Knock me out, take the stones, I remember NOTHING. Now I don't have to feel like a ticking time bomb waiting for them to drop. These were found by mistake when they were taking pictures of my gallbladder. Now that all the crappy stuff is out of the way I'm going let you in on the exciting things happening.

First I want to tell you that Peggy and I launched our website on January 1st. Would love for you to check it out. Just click on our logo below.  We are building it to be a great resource and support system. Your feedback on the site would be much appreciated because we are still in the early days.


Second I was named the 2012 Arthritis Walk Ambassador. This is a great honor to be recognized for the work I've been doing on getting the awareness out about Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am excited to be a part of the walk committee this year and I'm working with lots of great people from the Arthritis Foundation. To top it all off I get to wear a sash at the walk. I think all those years doing pageants is coming out in me because I am very excited about the sash! This year several people from our Squeaky Joints group will be coming to Connecticut to participate with me at the walk. Peggy and her family will be flying out and we finally get to meet in person. To read our story you can refer to the "about us" tab on our website. Then after the walk on to some quality time with our 2 families on a mini vacation to NYC. If you happen to be in the CT area on May 20, 2012 come join us! It's going to be a great day! Click here to join the Squeaky Joints Team.

Last our Facebook support group has been growing. If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis please stop by. No pressure. If it's not for you, you can leave. If you stay we would love to get to know you. Here is the link.

So there we go! The last few weeks in a nutshell. Off to spend some quality family time. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!


  1. You sure have been through alot this month! Dang RA meds...we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I just hope the ra keeps at bay until you get all of this other stuff settled. Tell it I said to take a back seat for once!

  2. Hang in there Brigid! It is a tough road...but you are TOUGHER!
    Healing hugs...and prayers. <3 Alicia