Rheumatologist appt today, hoping for Xeljanz, severe finger, thumbs, wrists pain, stiffness, swelling & needing relief - Also thinking that I have "shingles" and not something biting me

Today is the day! To the Rheumy I go. So far, my hand fingers, thumbs and wrists are hurting and swollen I hate when I go to a doctor and by the time I get there whatever is going on seems to be "better" that particular day! Since this has been going on now for a good while, they have been really bad on my right hand where i do well to type here, cannot open jars, cannot carry much of any weight with that hand and arm to the point it is really affecting my left arm and hand. My left elbow is now a mess I think. I know some of it is coming from my neck, but I knew the elbow has been bad for a long while. I've spoken about it before, after surgery on it in about 1998, now it is getting bad again, and I know it is due to me having to use my left hand, arm, wrist and shoulder much more than my right one. I could barely get my tea holder open this morning, because it hurts so badly to pull the lid off of it. I dread the drive up there though. His office means going on I-45 but then I have to make this horrid couple of miles that is a nightmare in order to get over to I-35 where the offices are for the SW Med Center. 

So, I always hate the traffic. My appt is early afternoon so that will help some, plus I will leave in plenty of time just in case there is issues with traffic, but still just the regular traffic that particular way is terrible any time of the day. Plus the drive home is almost as bad... same deal you HAVE TO be in the CORRECT LANE in order to make the cross back over to I-45 and that is about a 6 lane or more highway there, and goes all directions. Plus they have been doing a great deal of construction in that area so that even makes it worse. Then you have the idiots that don't get in their right lane until they have to cross over 4 lanes of traffic at the last minute and risk a chance of hitting someone with their stupidity. 

I know most of them are from that area and they think the "know" just how to move in the lanes, but usually even if they are driving like maniacs, it gets them no quicker there, than me, who is driving in the correct lanes with the flow of traffic. Speeding, is something I just don't do, BUT as many know in huge cities, with that much traffic sometimes driving the "speed limit" will get you ran over also. So, I've learned over the years in those places to try and drive with the flow of regular traffic, thus usually it makes it a bit easier to be in the lane you need to be and give yourself time to be there. I am a good driver as far as I am concerned, but it the other fools on the road that bother me... trying to look out for all of them, in so many lanes at once, and then trying to not hit someone when they cram on their brakes, or avoiding someone behind you hitting you because they are not watching to see brake lights coming on or they tail gate, which pisses me off to no end. Those that tailgate are just accidents waiting to happen. Anyway, I am hoping we try Zeljanx. 

That is my hope BUT since I am facing cervical neck surgery in probably a month, my fear is that they will not want to put me on the medication, until after the surgery, and a few weeks after it until I am kind of out of the woods for any type of infection. BUT, hopefully that won't happen, and I can get approved for it and get started quickly. I know they will have to send paperwork into my insurance company to get that medication approved. After all of the crap going on now with the government, my fear is many of us will wind up having to either NOT take our medications, because they will not cover them, or our co-pays will be higher, or we will have to try and get the drug companies to help with the costs, which many of them will do now just to be able to get the meds out there and hope the insurance will finally wise up, but I think it is worse when you are on any type of Medicare, especially a Medicare Advantage Plan. So, I am going over things and checking email etc. I will have to get out of here a couple of hours before I need to be there. by the time I get to the Valet parking, and then get in to check in, fill out paperwork since it has been so long since I was there and then all of the things to tell them. They are not aware of my hip fractures and my ankle/foot issues, or the complication with the hematoma on my hip and so forth. So, hopefully this visit WILL help and be one that is not worth going for as they do sometimes. 


I feel that maybe is my what I thought was some type of "bite" or sting, could be shingles. With them being on one side of my body, on my upper arm and on my torso, it sounds like and kind of appears to be those... I take the medication daily for my cold sores, which is the same family of virus that the shingles come from, so my thought it that my case might be "less" due to the medication... 
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