When I was referred to the rheumatologist in April, the first available appointment for our only in-network rheumatologist was in December.
Ah, the joys of closed-network insurance plans.
So I found one out of network, and was able to get into him in June.
Last Friday, I received a call that made my heart jump for joy (pretty sure that’s almost literal–I definitely felt something do somersaults). “Ms. Ray,” one of the sweetest voices I’ve ever heard said, “how lucky do you feel?”
“Oh, honey,” I said in my best Southern drawl, “I have never felt so lucky.”
“What are you doing Monday morning?”
“Anything you want me to.”
I had called to be put on the cancellation list and had been warned that there was “about 100” on it, but I assured them I could be there in an hour if they called. My appointment, which was originally scheduled for 7 December, was now on Monday, October 5.
When the doctor came in, she knew my chart. She asked a few pointed questions and made a decision. “We’re going to get you off the steroids. We’re going to try this. Many of my patients have seen a significant difference in 2-3 weeks.”
I’ve been on steroids since April, and, every time I’ve tried to come down on the dose, I’ve been incapacitated.
This was something new.
I told her that I had been tested and found to not metabolize folic acid properly, and had been given a pill to counteract it by someone who was not a rheumatologist. “Does that make a difference?” I asked her, after having been dismissed by the other rheumatologist.
“I’ll research it and have a nurse call you back.”
I walked out of there feeling respected and listened to and hopeful.
Hope’s a powerful, powerful thing.
Her nurse called me back within 2 hours of my leaving my office. This is unheard of in my experience. She had instructions for changing the methotrexate and changing the folic acid.
And that night, after I gave myself my first injection (a comedy best left for another time), I felt powerful.
And here it is, Friday, and I feel fabulous.
This may not be the answer, but at least it’s a new one. She had seen that the “old way” wasn’t working, hadn’t been working, and said that the time for waiting was over.
It’s time to forge new paths.
It’s been a rough week, overall. But damn if it’s not the start of something new.
Yes, indeedy. Fabulous Friday, indeed.