Saturday, February 13, 2010
New IV Treatment Plan
The high risk doctor called yesterday. 6:30 on a Friday evening! (Props to you, doc, because every other 9-5 practitioner in America was home already.)
Here's what I learned: When being treated for Lyme, if you wait around for busy practices to do things on their own, it can take weeks, even months. If you call about a status update, it takes a few days. If you can score an email address of someone in the office and express your concerns about time management in writing, stuff gets done. Fast. (For the record, I'm always super nice, just honest. Angry calls/emails get you moved to the bottom of the pile.)
Long story short, after I wrote my LLMD's assistant to say, "Hey, it's been a week, let's get the ball rolling," we had a new treatment plan set up the very same day.
More stuff I learned: Since I'm pregnant, my LLMD doesn't want much to do with me. I don't blame him. I imagine if something happens to a baby during treatment, some people might sue. Plus, I keep in mind that he is a Lyme expert and doesn't appear to know much in the way of baby growing. Fair enough. Until this baby exits my body, all treatment will go through the high risk specialist. (I had an "ah-ha!" moment when I found this out. When my LLMD started getting vague and kept pushing for me to see this specialist, it was because he wanted to pass me off asap.)
So here's the deal: High risk doc already put in the IV order with my insurance company. Because he is considered a "real" doctor (meaning he's not one of those cooky-off-the-wall "Lyme" doctors), the approval process is easy (I'll believe that when I see it) and takes days as opposed to weeks. High risk doctor believes that I will be in the hospital getting my PICC line* by the end of next week. (Woah that's fast. A little little too fast for my liking, even though I complained yesterday about the waiting game.)
I'll inject 2 grams of IV Rocephin a day and I'll have a nice home nurse to help make sure I do it right.
* A PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) is a long term IV that's inserted in your inner arm. It goes in where you'd normally have blood drawn, but there is a catheter connected that runs up a vein to your heart. This allows the liquid antibiotic to be delivered right to the superior vena cava, where it is most effective. It's a pain in the ass, and it's a little sore and uncomfortable at first as it heals, but it should never be too painful. You don't feel the catheter, even as it travels up the vein. It just looks long and scary when you see it for the first time.
Once it's in and healed, you forget it's even there and treatments just become second nature. Side effects of some of the meds, however, are a different story for another time...
**Photo byPinkfud on Wikipedia