I waited in Dr. Foley’s waiting room for ten minutes although it felt like an hour. I brought my Ipod and watched episodes of The Black Donnellys. It took my mind off the anticipation of the truth I would have to face. I wanted to keep a positive attitude but I couldn’t help but revert to a “Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst” attitude.
My first appointment was with Kara, Dr. Foley’s PA. She asked me several routine questions and then reviewed my labs. My blood work looked good and my MRI was stable. It was almost identical to the MRI I had eleven months ago. I know that is not a huge chunk of time but I was elated. Kara also did an exam and found my right arm and leg to show slight weakness but it is nothing that has been bothering me or that I even notice.
My next appointment was with Dr. Foley. This time I did have about an hour to wait so I got almost completely caught up the Black Donnellys. Dr. Foley talked to me again about the risk vs. reward and the benefits and potential downside of Tysabri. I did think I knew everything but he did tell me that I would have to be especially careful to avoid or immediately treat infection like sinus infections or UTIs. He also said they may be more frequent but that wasn’t for certain.
After looking at my MRI film and discussing the symptoms and relapses I have had over the past year along with my severe Avonex side affects, he agreed that we should move forward with Tysabri.
So let me get this straight…..My MRI shows stable disease activity and I got the green light for Tysabri??!! Pinch me now!!
So what I am I waiting for? Two things…..first I have to wait for the Avonex to be completely out of my system. They recommend four weeks but I will play it safe with 5 or 6. Secondly, Dr. Foley is not a provider approved by my insurance. He has applied and is waiting for a contract to come through. While that is great news, my insurance company has no sense of urgency and this could take a while. Dr. Foley is going to try and get me pre approved but if we have to wait longer than a few weeks, I will be back on Avonex for awhile.
I am on cloud nine and determined to get my eating and exercise under better control. I am also going to be looking for more time to relax and conserve energy and have fun. I plan to give Tysabri everything it needs to be successful. Something will have to give but if I make slow gradual changes, all will be well.
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