Thursday, October 22, 2009

Family Discussions

Yesterday, I successfully tracked down where a flu shot could be had in the Northern Virginia area. A few weeks ago when I was at my PCPs office seeking medical treatment for bronchitis, my doctor said that they were already out of their 1st shipment of the regular seasonal flu vaccine and I could come back when their 2nd shipment arrived.

Then last week I was at the rheumatologist’s office and discussing switching RA meds. She insisted that I get both flu vaccines but that her office was out of their 1st shipment of the seasonal flu vaccine. I could come back in when they got their 2nd batch. Today I called that office and discovered that they were just informed that they would NOT be receiving any more shipments. Yikes!!

Ok, so today I was on a mission. Find someone who had the regular flu vaccine!! Oh, btw, my rheumy also gave me a script to prove I was a “high priority” person for the H1N1 vaccine. Didn’t think that I’d luck out but I found a CVS Minute Clinic who had both types....who had just received new shipments!! Today was the 1st day which the H1N1 vaccines were even available in our area and the county health department had already run out. In less than ONE DAY!!

So, anyways back to the real point of this conversation. I was talking to my aunt on the phone discussing the availability of flu vaccines. She is a nurse and says that supply is short in her area as well. I was telling her about my day when I casually mentioned that my rheumatologist had wanted me to get both flu vaccines.

“Why do you have a rheumatologist?” my aunt asks.

Because I have rheumatoid arthritis.

“You what?! I didn’t know that.”

Yeah, I was diagnosed in, ummm, 2007.

“I’m so sorry to hear that.”

It’s okay. I’m just special. I got to double dip in the disease department.

“I didn’t know and I’m really sorry.”

We’re talking about changing meds soon....

This is where the discussion moved on to medications and choices, etc. In addition to being a nurse, my aunt lives with Lupus and her doctor is recommending Remicade (which happens to be an RA drug given by infusion). In discussing adverse side-effects, her doctor explained one risk in a new way. There is an increased risk of lymphoma in patients who use Remicade. However, lupus patients have even a greater increased risk of developing lymphoma anyways. So the doctor said that taking Remicade might even lower her risk of developing lymphoma. ?!

Anyways, she’s thinking about it.

Very interesting conversation. I did not realize that I evidently had not discussed RA with her. But then again, I think that the last time I saw her in person was before the outrageously horrendous flare which ultimately led to my RA diagnosis seven months later.

Just something I hadn’t considered. My family back home probably doesn’t know because I didn’t make the same type of big announcement that I did with the MS diagnosis. Very interesting. I’ll have to ponder that one.

In the meantime, my body thinks that it’s sick again but I know better. Those were dead viruses, body, get over it and start building those antibodies. But keep from making me cough like crazy, okay? Thanks.

P.S. The Carnival of MS Bloggers will be coming tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, I hope that some anti-inflammatory pill you take will snap those symptoms right back into place. I just had my (regular) flu shot yesterday, and today my walking isn't worth a darn. This has wanted to come on for a couple of weeks, so it's not related to the shot. But I wonder - what reaction will my body on steroids make with the flu vaccine which will be working to build up immunity?

    Time will tell.