Thursday, March 14, 2013

WOOHOO new drugs! (not so woohoo yet though)

Today I FINALLY got in to the Dermatology department to see about starting Stelara.  The Rheumatology had already recommended it, but because it is not approved for Psoriatic Arthritis the Derm is the one who has to prescribe it.  They are in agreement, BUT it has to go through an approval process with the "Biological board".  They have sent a message to the president of the board that we are under a bit of a time crunch due to my pending move and wanting to get the first 2 loading doses done before I move.  Fingers crossed I may have one last chance at a biological that might work.

If Stelara doesn't help I'm SOL (shit out of luck for those that aren't acronym versed).  It's the last option until the IL-17 drugs and a few others work through the approval process.  My understanding is that is at least 2 years away still.

I also saw the Pain Management Docs today.  Apparently the VA pharmacy does not carry Butrans.  Butrans is the weekly synthetic morphine patch I've been on since November.  It was helping quite a bit.  My pain had been at about a constant 8 even with taking vicodin all day every day, but with the Butrans it had been holding steady at around a 6 most days.  On bad days I was still able to take a vicodin, but it's reduced my vicodin intake to 1-2 doses a few days a week.  That is HUGE.  ANYWAY, now they have switched me to fentnyl.  I have never done it before so wasn't sure what to expect.  I put it on at about 4 this afternoon and I get to spend the next 24 hours or so while my nerves have their normal new med freak out.  It's kind of like when you get fever pains all over your body. UGH!  The good news is if it works then life goes on, if it doesn't it is enough evidence that I don't have other options so they will request that Butrans be added to the VA Pharmacy. I know, I'm high maintenance.

One last thing I'd like to mention is a thank you to a friend.  Thank you for being the only friend who has come by to spend time with me.  Thank you for being the one who reads my blogs.  And thank you for being the only one in a few months to make any contact with me.  I realize I have been out of the loop.  It has been a very hard 6 months, and it really means a lot that you have reached out.