Arthritis type and plan

My Rheumatoid Dr called to talk to me about my results this morning. I didn’t go to pain management yesterday because Cymbalta wiped me out. Lack of sleep for the last week and trying to get used to a new medication just knocked me down. I needed rest and I got it. For once, I slept well and have more energy today. I am happy to say I didn’t wake up feeling hung over like I did yesterday from the Cymbalta side effects. My nerve pain is less, but my bone pain is still there. I also don’t feel as numb emotionally and my depression and anxiety levels are down.

So, back to the Dr call: She said that my X-Ray showed scoliosis of the lower back (I knew this) and that I have Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease). She thinks I am all clear for any autoimmune arthritis like rheumatoid because my RA factor and C Reactive tests were all good. I also don’t have gout (YAY). However, my Vitamin D levels are way low. My levels need to be between 30-80 ng/mL and mine is only 19. Low Vitamin D can cause dizziness, muscle pain, joint and bone pain, fatigue, depression, and so much more. You can read more about it here. I will be taking 50,000 IU once a week for 8 weeks then recheck my levels again. Thank goodness the meds are only $4 at Walmart. I have IBS and other digestive issues and, since I also become low in Iron and Potassium easy, the Dr thinks my low Vitamin D is a combination of chronic inflammation, IBS not allowing absorption of nutrients, and not being able to get outside much due to my issues with walking with pain and surgery confinement.

My Sed rate was slightly high and she has urged me to see my primary care and the pain clinic for help with my pain and arthritis after care. I see her in two weeks to start steroid shots in my hips, which should help with hip inflammation for a few months. The pain clinic or my PCP can send me to a neurologist if need be. She thinks I have symptoms of nerve damage that needs to be treated at the pain clinic who can then send me for more tests on my neck and back. She didn’t X-Ray my upper back because most of my pain is lower. She explained that the scoliosis is causing my disks in my lower back to bulge and slip out of place easily.

I did ask her to look at my blood work and tell me if she thinks it will be safe for me to take Humira since my white blood cells are a little high for the last few months. She thinks that’s just from the hidradenitis and digestive issues and no infection. She told me I should be fine but, this first sign of a fever, and I am to call the Dr and withhold a shot until told to start again. It’s just something to watch. Am I nervous to take the Humira shots? Yes, lowering my immune system scares me. I will just have to be careful not to get sick and take care of myself.

I hope to get the Humira soon to get this all started. until next time.

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