So, I got one whole steroid shot

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I was hoping to have both shoulders and both hips done, but my GP didn't want to do that many at one time. I don't blame her given how sensitive I am to steroids, but I really want some relief.

    So, we decided on shoulders since I couldn't even pull a blanket over myself. I've had these shots many times. They're uncomfortable, but not bad. Today they hurt like Hades. With a capital H. When she did the left shoulder and the medicine went in, I cried out and started to go limp on that side.

    Then came the right. She tried and she tried, she moved the needle around, she went to a different spot and tried again, moved the needle around...but she could not get the medicine to come out. She said I have too much inflammation and she can't get through it.

    You know, the inflammation that the rheumy's say I don't have because it doesn't show up on blood tests like they think it should? Yeah, THAT inflammation.

    So, I was hoping for 4 injections and got one. At least, it was on the side that was the worst. I don't think it's going to fully take, but it's better than it was. I'm also doing a steroid taper - low dose, short taper. I imagine I'll have to do another one after because I don't think it's enough to hit the large joints.

    She gave me a starter pack of a new medication called Savella. It's an AD, but it's not used to treat depression; it's used to treat fibromyalgia. I'm only the 2nd person she's given it, too, and likely my insurance won't cover it. If it works (crossing fingers) and if the insurance won't cover it, I'll contact the pharmaceutical company for assistance. I have to do something. My fibro doesn't usually bother me too much - it's the other issues that do. But, I can't stand to be touched right now. It hurt when the nurse took my pulse. How pathetic is that?

    I am also getting a lip biopsy to check for Sjogren's. We had that on the list to do before, but then we were waiting for the Cushing's test results and it fell through the cracks. I told her I want it done and she said OK. It's pretty obvious I have actually inflammation and fibro doesn't cause inflammation.

    I'm really glad I have the doctor I have. She does listen to me and she wants to help. When the pharmaceutical rep was there to give them the Savella samples, she asked them specifically if my insurance covers it. They didn't know. But, she was thinking of me. Pretty cool to have in a doctor.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Your doctor is awesome! I was just reading about Savella yesterday.

    You are not the only one with inflammation that the tests say isn't there. Those tests are bogus, in my opinion. There MUST be a better way. There MUST be.

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I am sorry that the shot caused you so much pain. When husband gets those in his hips they really hurt, but they have to do them x-ray guided.

    Let me know how the Savella works, husband's pain doctor wants him to go on that but the idea of any ad with him scares the **** out of me.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Actually, there is a blood test for 'generic' inflammation. Ask them to test specifically for C-Reactive Protein. Elevation of this reading will not pinpoint the source of the inflammation, but should indicate that it exists.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I've had that and the sed rate. They show minimal inflammation, but it's clear I have way more.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Unfortunately, neither fibro nor osteoarthritis will show up as inflammation. I have osteo and fibro and my tests are all negative.

    husband went the other way. His tests were through the roof about two years before the symptoms of his blood disorder manifested. The VA blew it off because they felt the results were false positives.

    So bad, so sorry...had the VA done a bone marrow tap at that point they would've pinpointed the disease early enough for husband have had the hope of a marrow transplant.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm sorry about your husband. It seems that since technology has helped medicine, too many doctors rely solely on it and dismiss the full clinical picture.

    Fibro doesn't cause inflammation so, no, it won't show up as inflammation. My lab work has a history of appearing benign when the issue isn't. The frustrating part is the doctors look at the only mildly elvated sed rate and CRP and say...nope, nothing.

    One way of checking heart attack risk is by using CRP. If it's elevated above (I think) 3.1, it's an indication. I had it checked 6 weeks before I had a heart attack that resulted in 4 stents, with 2 blockages at 99%, one at 50% and one at 40% and my CRP was only mildly elevated.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    That's interesting Flutterby. I wasn't aware that the CRP showed heart muscle damage. I remembered that they (used to?) check the CPK enzyme levels for that.

    DHs sed rates were so so high that you could literally see clumps of red cells falling out of the plasma with the naked eye.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    CRP doesn't show heart muscle damage; it's an indication of atherosclerosis if my memory serves. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process. This is a test that would be run - hopefully - before you have a heart attack...a screening tool for those at high risk, if you will.

    They still do check CPK for heart muscle damage - or any muscle damage for that matter.