"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

November 7, 2012

Finally!...... A Rheumatologist!

I've been at my job for 90 days now, and that means my insurance kicked in on November 1st!  You better believe as soon as November hit, I was calling around trying to set up an appointment with a rheumatologist so we could hopefully get Ova out of all the pain he's been in for months and figure out what's going on with his body.

I called a couple places to try and make an appointment and everyone was still booking us out like 4-6 months.  Even when I tried to explain the situation, nobody seemed to really care.  Finding a rheumatologist was so difficult and I was getting so tired of the rejection.  The last clinic I called was up at the University hospital.  They wouldn't even talk to me without a referral from Ova's doctor, but that was no problem at all.  Dr. Zachary was just as anxious as we were to find out what was wrong with him and to get him some help, so as soon as I called him...he faxed the referral right away.

The scheduling person at the U received the fax and started to book his appointment.  She started to say "we have openings at the end of February....." and before she could even finish her sentence, I just lost it.  I couldn't wait that long, why don't these people understand.  I cried like a crazy lady on the phone to her....I told her that we'd been waiting for months and months to be seen, we couldn't be seen earlier because my insurance didn't kick in until that month, and nobody accepts medicaid.  I told her that he's in constant pain all the time and that he hasn't walked since Mother's Day....that was 6 months ago.  I told her that I have 4 kids, and one of them is a preemie who is in and out of the hospital and that if I didn't get some answers or some help with finding out what was wrong with my husband, I was going to go crazy.  Thinking back on it now, I totally sounded like I was already crazy.....but I think all the months of waiting, and all the stress of not knowing and not being able to do anything just got to me.  My husband is right here at home all the time, but I miss him.  It sounds crazy, but the normal everyday things that most married couples or families can do together, we can't and haven't been able to for a long time because of whatever is wrong with him.  I just wanted it fixed.

She told me to hold on for a second while she went and talked to the doctor.  When she came back, she told me that they might be able to get him in as an urgent need, but that she'd need to fax me some paperwork that would need to be filled out and looked over by the doctor before the determination of whether his conditions warrant urgent care.  Thank goodness my mom gave me a fax machine for my birthday because she faxed it right to me, I filled it out and faxed it right back.  She called me about a half hour later to schedule his appointment for one week later.  Hallelujah!  I cried when I hung up with her too just out of exhaustion and relief that we were one step closer!

Today was the day of the long awaited appointment.  I worked all night last night and got off at 7am.  When I got home, Ova was already ready and he had dragged himself up the stairs and was sitting there waiting for me, breathing hard and sweating from all that work of crawling up the stairs....and he was in pain.  We were both anxious and excited to finally get some answers....and a little nervous that they might not be able to fix it or tell us what it was.

I loaded his wheelchair into the car and we headed up to the U.  When we got there, they took us right back.  They had an attending come in to assess him before the actual rheumatologist came in.  He asked Ova a ton of questions about what the pain felt like and where it was at.  Everything that Ova said confused him.  He'd never heard anyone describe their pain quite like the pain that Ova had.  Gout patients have flare ups that come and go, but they don't last as long as his do.....he touched and pushed on several spots on Ova's feet and knees and arms and the places he thought should hurt him didn't and the places that shouldn't be affected were hurting.  He brought in an ultrasound machine and checked his joints and his bones.  Confused still.  He did not see anything out of the ordinary, besides just the regular wear and tear.  He continued to ask several questions like what types of medications has he tried, what seems to work, where does he feel most of the pain....etc, etc, etc.  He ruled out rheumatoid arthritis because Ova's been on pretnizone several times in attempts to help with the inflammation, and that steriod makes no difference.  He was confused.
 
After he had finished his assessment, he went and got the rheumatologist.  The rheumatologist came in and did pretty much the same assessment.  He asked the same questions and touched the same spots on Ova's feet/legs/fingers/arms.  He did his own ultrasound, only he checked in different spots than the attending did.  What he saw was pretty interesting.  Your bones are supposed to be smooth, but in the ultrasound, Ova's bones were all jagged and bumpy.  He had bone spurs everywhere.  It's typical for everyone to have normal wear and tear on their bones, but not as bad as Ova's was.  His bones looked like an old person's that has been worn down for 80-90 years.  Ova asked them if it had anything to do with him playing sports and rolling his ankles and things when he was younger....they told him that it probably didn't help the situation.  The rheumatologist did see some pockets of uric acid in his joints....but not enough to even show when they tested for it.  He obviously has osteoarthritis, which is the most common joint disorder, and he was thinking that the small gout crystals he saw, mixed with the bone spurs and the wearing and tearing and deteriorating of his bones...all mixed together were the problem.  He made a plan and is going to follow up closely with us.  The did x-rays and drew blood to see if they find anything they might have missed with the ultrasound.  He started Ova on 5 different medications that he has to take faithfully everyday, some of them twice or three times a day.  They gave him a perscription of Tramadol with is a pain reliever for people who are expected to need medication around-the-clock for a long period of time.  It's a pain reliever that he can take and not become depent on.  They gave him a perscription to start physical therapy...because his immobility only adds to the pain and stiffness of his joints.  Most of all they gave him hope.  Hope that they're going to fix it.  Hope that he'll finally be out of pain.  Hope that he'll get to walk again and live a normal life.  He gave me a lot of hope too!  Finally, finally, FINALLY!

Please help us pray that these medications work!

1 comment:

ferr said...

Crazy MaMas are the best. Everyone needs a crazy Mama at their house. Our prayers are with you. Way to hang in there and get Ova the help he needs.