May 02, 2007

Update on Richard's Rash (RR) | printable version

The results of Richard's biopsy are in. He has Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis, or LCV. We already pretty much knew he had vasculitis, but needed the diagnosis before they can proceed with more tests to see what's causing it. Basically, there is a 50% chance it's caused by an autoimmune disorder or medication or something he's eating, and there's a 50% chance they'll never know what's causing it. It could be caused by Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Hepatitis C, or it could be due to his thyroid medication (the doctor doesn't think so), or....maybe my cooking? Okay, humor does help in times like these. Honestly, we're praying it's nothing serious and that we'll never know what causes it. Because, if they do find out what's causing it, that something might be serious. If it's just a transient thing, chances are it's an anomaly and very minor.

Back to the medication question. We (and everybody I've talked to in the past week) have always assumed that generic drugs are exactly the same as name-brand drugs. Not true! Our doctor told us generic drugs can be off by up to 20%. He says it's not usually a big deal unless you're dealing with something like a thyroid problem (which is what Richard has) or diabetes. In those cases, being off by 20% can be a very big deal. So, he wrote Richard a new prescription for "brand name only" for his thyroid medication. For about six weeks prior to that time, Richard was taking a new dosage of his medication, 50 micrograms - up- from 25. So, it was a brand new pill.

Maybe it's the pills, maybe not. But, the LCV did get a bit better after he switched to the brand name and, while he's still getting new "spots", they've definitely slowed down and the old ones are clearing up. He's been on the brand name pills for a week.

The brand name pills were quite a bit more expensive than the generic (four times more), but we're going to keep paying for them. We have to pay out of pocket because we have a $5K deductible with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Anyway, I wanted to give everybody an update.

Other than that, we're all fine. We're soon going to start planting a fruit and nut orchard on the land we purchased last year and Richard is excited about starting to build our first cabin there. At home, my seedlings are growing huge and I'm wondering how I'm going to keep them in their little pots through Memorial Day, which is the earliest you can plant outside in our area and not worry about frost. I'm also going to start growing other perennials, like garlic and horseradish (I eat horseradish sauce on all meat). And, I'm thinking about growing some miniature fruit trees and vegetables plants indoors through next winter...just for fun. I really get a kick out of gardening!!

This week's Maxism:
"Mommy, why did you name your husband Richard?"

Hugs to all!

Ang

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