Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is official...I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which is a lifelong disease. The good news is that my doctor has assured me that we caught it early and I won't end up looking like this...

I like my doctor and he is conveniently located within 20 miles of home and 40 of work, but when I went to visit him the other day his office had switched from being a clinic to an extension of the hospital.  This means that all my visits would be out of pocket until I reached my $1,500 deductible.  I just can't afford that.  I will be having blood work and appointments every 2 months (around $200 each time) and yearly x-rays.  I will probably get close, but never reach my deductible.  With a chronic disease, I just can't afford to do that.

Now I have to try to find a new clinic doctor. Preferably one  that does x-rays and blood work in-house.  Visiting a specialist at a clinic only costs me a $35 co-pay no matter if they are doing blood work or x-rays.  That I can afford.  Without changing doctors, I might as well not even have insurance because it won't even kick in to help pay for anything.  So now I will have to try to get a referral to a new doctor that will most likely be located over 100 miles away because that is were the nearest facilities are located that my insurance approves of...

Here's hoping that I can find the right doctor.  That is my big prayer now.  I am currently on RA drugs (methotrexate) and I am waiting to see if they will work for me. Apparently they work in 2/3 of the cases.  I have to get blood work done on a regular basis because they can damage your liver. There are just so many considerations with a chronic disease.

UPDATE: I did find a new doctor that was within my "network". Unfortunately, he is located 100 miles away, but fortunately, he is awesome (think Mr. Rogers). He has put me on new meds that work for me, and I am not required to have yearly x-rays either. I am now "living with RA", but I am living a life that, for the most part, is completely normal! And I thank the good LORD for this!

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