No Methotrexate!

Today began with a phone call from the cardiologist who does not say goodbye. I contacted him because I gained 4 lbs in two days which can be an indication of pericardial effusion-fluid around the heart. He wanted me to have an echocardiogram at 1:00, right before seeing rheumatology.
I went to check-in for my echo and there had been no appointment scheduled for me. I was not happy with the cardiologist. The receptionist called around and a technician at the hospital had an opening. We were at the clinic by the river so we jumped on the tram.
While in the waiting room, cardiologist 2 and 3 (cardiologist 1 is still on vacay) walked by and saw me. They both sat down and started asking about my weight gain. Then #2 sat next to me and took one of my hands while #3 kneeled and held one of my feet. They were checking the puffiness, but it was hilarious and I loved it! Them taking that extra moment out of what they were doing to chat with me while I waited restored the faith a little bit.
The echocardiogram was clean–no water on the heart!
Then! Then! The rheumatologist decided she did not want to put me on methotrexate! When I was first diagnosed with pericarditis right after my surgery they put me on a high dose of ibuprofen and also colchicine-an anti-inflammatory used for gout. She felt the cardiologists had not used the colchicine and ibuprofen to its greatest potential. It did not work the first time we tried it, but she is almost doubling the doses. I should know within a week if it is going to work.
The plan is to take the ibuprofen and colchicine along with the prednisone for a month and, if my body is responding well, we will begin tapering off the prednisone.
I cannot wait for the pain to be gone and to begin life again! If it works! I hope it works!

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Methotrexate

In preparation for Methotrexate, I have been looking up possible side effects online because you should not do that and it will make you go insane! After studying the list, I have come to the conclusion that this is what I will look like by the end of my treatment:

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Let me get the rest of my whining out of the way now, because I, hopefully, will have nothing to whine about in a couple months.
I still have not talked to my cardiologist. I have talked to his colleague; he got the ball rolling again. The colleague does that really uncomfortable thing that robots disguised as humans do, he does not say goodbye on the phone. I hate it! It makes me broody! It throws me off! It turns me into a pissed off 90 year old woman who calls the cable company to complain about the radio station–you hang up frustrated, with no issues resolved, and with a lot more “goodies” than you need. (Don’t try to understand my metaphor, just accept it.)
I am taking a chemotherapy drug and I do not have cancer. Really! I know it is a lower dose and the side effects I am anticipating will not be as bad as Zach Galifinakis in a women’s swimsuit, but that does not mean I have to be happy–not even happy–okay with it! It is a bummer!
Prednisone gave me 20 extra lbs of Heidi. I now have stretch marks on my tum and thighs because it came on rapidly! I slather myself in bio oil all day every day in hopes of erasing these ghastly mars!! I am not worried about losing the weight–it’s mostly water retention and I have been told it will come off quickly once I am off of Prednisone. The stretch marks are discouraging, though. I do not need any more physical reminders of this time–the 9 surgical scars across my chest are reminder enough of what I have been through.
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of these scars. This body went through a stroke, 2 open-heart surgeries, and everything in between! I am a survivor. That makes these scars beautiful and I do not want to forget that.
Rheumatology is tomorrow! Wish me luck!

What happened!

My cardiologist was suppose to call 2 weeks ago with how we will proceed with my care. After a week of not hearing from him, I became anxious. After two weeks of not hearing from him, I became crazy.
I am in a lot of pain that radiates from my chest to neck, shoulders, and left arm. Breathing is painful. I feel my heart beating against me. The anxiety amplifies things, of course. I get the shakes!
I finally called my cardiologist because 2 weeks is way too long. I left a message. Two days later I called again-no response. The next day I call again-no response. The day after that mom decided to get some answers. She called and was told my doctor was taking patients and his nurse was in a meeting but they would put an urgent note in for her to call us. 2 hours later mom called again and was told the nurse went home for the day.
What are you suppose to do when your doctor and his nurse are dodging your phone calls! You have your mother call the nurse practitioner, who is also a mother!
The nurse practitioner did not know what was happening or how my cardiologist was proceeding with my care but she would find out and call us back!
Late last night Dr. 3 called me. Dr. 3 is not Dr. 1 or Dr. 2, but Dr. 3–we have not had much interaction. Apparently, Dr. 1, whom I have been waiting to hear from, whom we were told was taking patients, is on vacation for 2 weeks. In Dr. 1’s notes he has me going on methotrexate on December 20th but I was not called. So, Dr. 3 told me he would try to reach Dr. 1 but until then he would get me more Vicodin–I went to urgent care on Saturday to make sure I was not dying because it felt like I was dying and they gave me Vicodin–for the pain.
At this point someone could punch me in the face and I would probably just giggle.

*update*

Rheumatology called today. They will be managing my methotrexate. I have an appointment with them on the 16th.
When they called they said Dr. 1 and Dr. 3 gave referrals. So, I think rheumatology was suppose to contact me on the 20th.
Just a couple more months of this nonsense, hopefully!