My rheumatologist is usually booked 6-8 weeks out, so when I finally called a couple of weeks ago to schedule an appointment, the earliest I could get in was August 10th. (He only sees patients on Wednesdays at this particular location, which definitely accounts for the wait.) I don't know why I had never thought of this before, but I called this morning to ask about cancellations, and gave the receptionist my number. I figured I would just call every Wednesday up until the day of the appointment to see if I could get in, but I happened to get in today. Sweet!
I had to bring the kids with me, and they were incredibly good for the two hours we were there - including the five minutes I had to leave them under the watch of the receptionist at x-ray, since they couldn't come in there with me. I had my appointment with Dr. Rheumy, a TB test, labs, and x-rays of my hands and wrists. The new med plan is to continue my 15mg/week of methotrexate, then inject Enbrel 1x/week (pending the normal TB test, of course, since tuberculosis is one of the several serious infections a person on biologics is susceptible to), while adding in 1mg/day of folic acid and a prednisone burst/taper for the next 10 days. I told him that Dr. Primary (did I mention I found a PCP?!) wanted to prescribe Prilosec so I could reduce the wear and tear on my stomach from Aleve, and he told me he had a coupon for a new drug (called Vimovo) that is a combination of 500mg naproxen and 20mg Nexium. I'm sure in the long run, generic Prilosec and naproxen will save money, but the first time filling the Vimovo is free with the discount card, so I figure it can't hurt to try. Then he sent me for a CBC, ESR, CRP, RF, CCP, and hepatic profile, just to see how things look compared to this time last year, when I was diagnosed. (I was supposed to have the hepatic profile and CBC done every 6-8 weeks on the MTX...this is the first time it's being run since last July. Whoops.)
All that boring med talk aside, I feel pretty relieved that I've got this appointment over and done with and that Dr. Rheumy didn't hesitate to move on to biologics. I don't think another 8 week trial of MTX would have really done much other than confirm that while it seems to work to a degree, I still have plenty of pain and stiffness to go around.
The girls got rewards of a lollipop between Dr. Rheumy and the wait for labs/x-rays, stove-popped popcorn and Despicable Me after we got home, and Ralph's ices after dinner. If they were that quiet all the time, I would have to seriously think about a way to reward them that doesn't include pumping them full of sugar. One thing at a time, right?