Well that was slightly unexpected. Unexpected in a good way, mind you, but still unexpected.
We had a rather in-depth chat about a lot of stuff and I was really quite surprised that Rheumy finally gave me an option for treating the pain in both my hips that has been driving me absolutely bonkers for a few years now. It hadn’t been until I mentioned the increasing pain to HawtDoc at my last couple appointments that it started becoming a potential red flag issue.(Plus getting X-rays done and him wanting Rheumy to get a requisition for an MRI of my hips also helped bring the issue to light) HawtDoc’s biggest concern is that there might be Avascular Necrosis happening. As far as the Xrays show, superficially, there’s no sign but the MRI would show far more detail, so I have a requisition being sent out for it.
As for what kind of treatment we’re doing for the hip pain in the meantime, Rheumy gave me a couple of Kenalog (corticosteroids) injections this afternoon, one in each side. We don’t know if it will actually be beneficial, but it couldn’t hurt to try it. Having said that though, she did say that if it does happen to make things a little better, she’s not entirely keen on doing regular injections, as she feels it could deteriorate the tendons around the joint.
As for what I should be doing at home, she wants me to do some static exercises while I’m lying in bed, or out and about walking. Or as she put it, “SQUEEZE!! SQUEEZE THOSE MUSCLES WHEREVER YOU ARE!!” Crossing fingers it will help ease some of the increased pain… and I suppose I will potentially get a better shaped ass by making sure I intentionally do ass squeezes. LOL.
Interestingly, for a solution to my leg cramps, she’s concerned I may be lacking in magnesium, even though I’m already on supplements and given that I have breathing problems. She says my increased difficulties in breathing from the chest pain can make my blood more “alkaline”, and as a result, she feels that I could use an extra-extra boost of magnesium to help the cramping by consuming a bottle of mineral water that’s high in magnesium. Weird. It’s a little Woo-Woo and weird, but okay, do what the nice doctor lady orders!
As for what’s up with the Rituxan treatments, Rheumy would like for me to do at least one more round of infusions so we can determine if it’s actually been beneficial.
So far my lung function tests are showing “positive improvement” from the one round and my creatinine levels are showing improvement. But at the moment, it’s unrealistic to think that there’s been definitive improvement going on unless we do it again. As far as the “unusually shitty side effects” I had to deal with (chest pain, harder to breathe, increased hip pain, muscle spasms and pain in my knuckles) Rheumy thinks they were completely a coincidence; as opposed to the expected exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, those are considered “normal”, which totally blows :P