Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Quick Follow-up

Boy was it a different experience to see Dr. Wernick today.

Last time, I was scheduled for a 2-hour block of time, and ended up spending more than three hours with him and his resident.

I went for my first followup today, and was assured I was only scheduled for a 20-minute visit. But gosh, it felt more like 5-10 minutes, if that!

And at least 90 percent of the visit was Dr. Wernick summarizing my case for the two residents, who each had to painfully squeeze all the joints in my hands and wrists as well as Dr. Wernick.

Simply put, it was really just touching base. The tests he'd done two weeks ago came back normal, as expected since they were repeats of tests that had been done earlier in my illness and had come back normal then too.

He did raise my dosage of Salsalate from 2.5 750mg capsules twice a day to three 750mg capsules twice a day. (Guess my hearing was still too good even though I had a hard time following him while he summarized to the residents!) He warned me that the pharmacist would likely suggest there was a mistake because it was a very high dose, but he said it was intentional and the pharmacist could call his office if my reassurance that it was correct wasn't good enough.

Dr. Wernick leans now toward believing it's Parvovirus rather than Lupus, but says we won't know until we see whether my illness ever goes away and stays away. But because there's a chance that it could be lupus, he wants me to check my urine regularly (every couple weeks) for protein. He wrote me a prescription for dipsticks that I can do at home and told me to call his office immediately if the stick changes color by two degrees or more. I'm sure my insurance will be happy that I'm doing it more cheaply than going into the doctor's office every couple weeks and doing it there!

I do think I'm doing a bit better pain-wise because I'm often not watching the clock for the last hour before I can take my next dose lately. For awhile there, I was taking them every 4 hours, even waking in the night and needing them. Now, I'm often stretching to five to six hours between doses, and sometimes as long as seven or eight. That's good, even if Dr. Wernick still thinks I'm on a fairly high dose of narcotic painkillers.


Apologies to those I'm late owing emails or responses to comments here or on your blogs. The pre- and aftermath of Ellie's bday party really stretched my resources of time and energy, and I just haven't been able to keep up as well as I'd like. I do appreciate your understanding!

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