PMR/GCA vs differential diagnosis- First rheumato... - PMRGCAuk

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PMR/GCA vs differential diagnosis- First rheumatologist visit- United States

Richnroo
Richnroo

Hello, for anyone who is interested I live in the United States and finally had a first rheumatologist visit. I opted to go to a specialist at UC Davis and he was fantastic. He appears to be very knowledgeable about PMR and GCA. He is questioning my potential diagnosis due to the need for the high dose of prednisone ( I’m currently requiring 40mg to control my symptoms) but he has not ruled it out and does not care that I am 49 and therefore “ it can’t be PMR”. I am scheduled to have an MRA next week to look for extracranial giant cell arteritis. He has also ran a whole host of other tests looking for other potential differential diagnosis. So far I am very pleased. He did order me a 90 day supply of prednisone and is not trying to yank me off it.

In other news, for any of you who recall my discussing the pharmacist that refused to refill my prednisone, well I did in fact file a formal complaint. And took my new prescription for the 90 day supply to another pharmacy where it was promptly filled no problems.

Hope everyone is well!

26 Replies
oldestnewest

Wow! Tick,tick,tick! Spot on, well done! X

Happy dance! 😂

You must promise to send the happy dance video as a Christmas treat. 😂😂😂

Hahaha yes!!!!!

Well done you,in this case it worked out o.k. but his/her actions could have had severe knock on effects.All good news really.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to yorkieme

Yes!

Good for you!! I called my insurance today (Medicare advantage) to see if I needed a referral to a rheumy and they said yes. My doc didn't want to initially, said HE could treat it but I'm going to ask again.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to Dydee

I would!

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Dydee

Yes, my wife wants to go with a Medicare advantage plan but I opted for Medicare and a supplement. Decisions ... decisions ... decisions.

I think most people do opt for an advantage plan but I don't see what the advantage is. It costs less but you may lose some freedom. I'm eligible to get my medications from the VA which has been a huge advantage for me.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to Hidden

I’m not Medicare age, but I’m a nurse and from what I’ve seen, Medicare with a supplement is the way to go. The advantage plans are great..... until you need something you weren’t expecting.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Richnroo

I'm a retired nurse. I miss nursing but when covid hit, I'm happy to be retired. I had an experience where I got norovirus from a patient and wound up in ICU. I can't blame the patient because it was more about how my immune system reacted to it.

What area of nursing are you in? I started on a spinal cord injury unit ... then surgical ICU ... then did research for a cardiologist in an EP lab. I decided that I liked neurology/neurosurgery better until PMR changed my life. Then I found it easier to take care of psych patients except the take downs were not that easy. I worked for an insurance company for awhile too.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to Hidden

Many years ago I worked on the floor in the hospital on the med floor. We had tons of psych patients since we have no psych facilities where I live. I did not enjoy that aspect. I’ve been in home home health now for years and that’s my calling. Ooo norovirus. Nasty thing that is.

Dydee
Dydee in reply to Hidden

Yeah, when we chose our plan we had no health issues and cheaper was better. Our plan has really been great and hubby has VA docs and meds too. Would like more control but will work within our plan till it doesn't work anymore. I'll look at Medicare plus supplement just in case. Geez, I thought all that choice making was behind me.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Dydee

It just depends on where you live and your personal set of circumstances. My wife's choice should be good for her. I just tell her if we ever move it will have to be near a VA hospital. She just says she doesn't want to move.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to Hidden

You’re definitely right about Depending on your personal circumstances and where you live.

Dydee
Dydee in reply to Hidden

I agree with your wife!! Been here 15 years, added all our conviences, Tuff Shed, raised garden beds, doggy yard (I raise and show Miniature Schnauzers) NEVER want to move again. BUT, I guess some day this all might be too much to care for.

Peptink
Peptink in reply to Hidden

Can you tell me the differences between an advantage vs a supplement? Thanks.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Peptink

That is complicated. but basically, there are many kinds of advantage plans and they are all different. You still need to pay for Medicare but the company who sells the advantage plan does the insurance paperwork and also has a select network of healthcare providers. They limit what doctors and hospitals you can go to. They also provide your medications in most cases. Also some additional services for eye glasses and maybe dental services. What they actually cover and pay for is determined by the company and the plan you buy.

Medicare alone allows you to go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country and the prices and services are determined by the government. Most doctors and hospitals accept what Medicare pays them but some doctors and hospital don't. Medicare only pays 80% of the costs on most services and the patient pays 20%. That is where a supplement will pay the 20% that Medicare doesn't pay.

Medicare supplements are in addition to Medicare but are regulated by the government. There are different supplements that have a letter to distinguish them ... Plan A --- Plan B---Plan C and so on. The government regulates these plans so every Plan A is the same. However, the price for each Plan A may be different depending on the insurance company.

Every state has a SHIIP - Senior Health Insurance Information Program. A counselor there will explain all the details free of charge for the state you live in. Some states don't call it SHIIP but something similar. Google "your State" SHIIP and you should get information that pertains to your state.

It is a very complicated system but I hope this helps.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

Sounds a promising start!!!!

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to PMRpro

So far so good!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Richnroo

Long may it last!!!!

You’re definitely right about Depending on your personal circumstances and where you live.

All sounds good. Long may it continue!! 💐

Happy to see your success on so many levels.

Can you please tell me a little more about what the pharmacy that wouldn't fill your prescription for prednisone said to you? I'd like to know what they claimed their reason was.

Richnroo
Richnroo in reply to Amkoffee

He just was insisting that I already had prednisone and therefore it was a duplicate. He would not listen to my explanation that I had gone to the emergency room and the practitioner had written me a prescription for a different strength so that I could mix and match dosages if I needed to go up. He clearly was not understanding that prednisone isn’t always taken at a set amount every day

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