Ten years ago this month I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My rheumatologist, Dr Reiter, and I traveled the complicated road through a complicated disease together. She was a new rheumatologist and I was a new patient.
Over the years she saved my life three times by discovering three different cancers. The last cancer would have been fatal had it not been caught so early.
My RA history has been peppered with cancer treatments and complications from those treatments. My RA has been every bit as progressive as the manual says it is. According to Dr. Reiter, my RA is her worst case. I would guess that would put me in the top ten percent of RA difficulty.
At my appointment this week she told me Actemra was our last drug. The newer drugs cause cancer and given my history are not advisable. We agreed that the Actemra was helping. I would say about fifty percent. She put in a referral to the pain clinic. She wants me to go to PT for my shoulders to prevent frozen shoulder.
She introduced me to her new nurse who has the holistic approach. She asked me about massage. I had used massage, but with my flares I would not want anyone touching my body especially for a massage. Not presently anyway. They were going to schedule my next appointment for an hour. My thirty-minute appointments frequently stretch into an hour anyway.
On a cheerier note, Bob, my sourdough starter, is established. The King Arthur baking staff suggest treating your starter as a family member. I think Bob is my healthiest starter yet. I will be making my English muffins soon.