Vectra DA

Traveling With Rheumatoid Arthritis

graphic image of hands off the baggage

Rheumatoid Arthritis flares in shoulders causes no lifting of baggage at the airport.

I have always traveled with Rheumatoid Arthritis in a remission state, sometimes better than others. In about a week I will be off to Indiana to watch my daughter graduate. My flight is booked and I have never been through the airport without carrying my own bags. This will be a first for me, so I called the airline to see what I needed to do to get my bags to the gate with me.

The customer service agent tells me to check one bag and I would not need to lift my laptop backpack, I could just slide it under the seat. I told her she did not understand, both bags are usually carry on and I could not lift either bag at all, not even to load into the plane. She asked if I needed a wheelchair, I told her know I can currently walk but I cannot lift the bags at all. She told me to just ask someone outside for help and they will put my bags on a cart and take them to the gate for me. I hope it is that easy.

Still wondering what are the odds of me ending up lifting one of the bags throughout my day of travel. I really cannot imagine making it through the entire travel day without lifting a bag. Maybe the new medication with start working as soon as I get the first shot of Cimzia? That would be nice. Well off to the doctors to get that new prescription and have a second Vectra DA blood test.

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Vectra D & Other Blood Tests & More Tests

Vectra DA Blood Test Results

My disease activity according to the new Vectra DA blood test for Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity

Yesterday I went back to the Rheumatologist to get results of my blood tests and to have an ultra sound done on my thyroid. We went over the Vectra DA blood test, which I scored a 33. This means my Rheumatoid Arthritis aka Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease is at a moderate level with the current cocktail of drugs. I will be having another one in three months to get a new number. It looks like anything above 44 is high activity (severe) and under 29 is low or mild activity. It sounded like the goal is to get it under 10. You can find more out about the Vectra DA test on their website. Vectra DA does have a program in place for financial assistance. For an example a single person having an income less than $54,450 a year could qualify.

Most of my other blood test came out good. Rheumatoid Factor still negative, no TB, no hepatitis, no lupus, anti-CCP negative, Cholesterol good, etc. The bone denisty test was good also.

The tests that were not good were:

  • Vitamin D was low 23.4 ng/mL which should be over 30.
  • Thyroid study showed Thyroxine T4 at 11.6 mcg/dL which is high, it should be between 4.5 and 10.9
  • CRP Hi Sensitive was 5.6  mg/dL which is high, should be less than 1. Greater than 3.0 means high risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • My lipid study showed my Cholesterol was good, but my Triglycerides are high at 178 and should be under 150 and my HDL Cholesterol was low at 40 and should be greater than 40?

Vitamin D issue fix will be to add a Vitamin D supplement at 2,000 IU a day to my cocktail. Also adding an Omega 3/6/9 supplement. and I have a refill for the Flexeril which was added to treatment at my last appointment 2 weeks ago. It has taken that much time for me to get used to the muscle relaxers and it does take 3 a day at 10 mg to be almost pain free. I have not been this pain free since fall of 2010 so it is a nice change.

I am not sure what the lipid or thyroid study or the CRP Hi Sensitive means. Maybe the thyroid is off because of the nodule on it? After finding out the blood test results I had an ultrasound done on the thyroid and she also did I think it was called an ECG but not sure. I will get those results in 2 weeks. She did ask if my previous scan reports gave a size of the nodule, I did not remember a size mentioned for it only the size of lymph nodes that are swollen. She said it should be checked every 6 months to make sure it is not growing. But nodules in the thyroid can happen with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  She noted that besides the nodule in the right lobe of my thyroid that I had a very tiny cyst on my left lobe and that my heart looked good.

New Rheumatologist Visit – Vectra DA Blood Test

This week I had my first visit with the new Rheumatolgist, Dr. Solomon Forouzesh in Culver City. It was a good first visit, the doctor listened and discussed the issues I have been having with my Rheumatoid Arthritis also known as Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (see we refuse to be mislabeled). During my visit I was able to have my blood tests done and a bone density test right there in the office. That was pretty nice, not to do any other paperwork for labs or go somewhere else for tests. Not that I had it hard with my Rheumatologist in Indiana, everything was just down the hall which was also nice. Lloyd even brought in his camera and was able to get some photos throughout the visit without any issues.

During the visit I asked for muscle relaxers, I had tried Flexeril before and knew it did help. I thought maybe it caused some depression during my use of it during the end of 2010. But I realized that it was probably a depression because I knew I was no longer in remission (see Sustained Rheumatoid Arthritis Remission Is Rare). So far this has helped relieve some of the pain so I can sleep better at night. The weight of my blanket does not seem to bother me now, before adding the Flexeril the blankets felt heavy, the tenderness in my feet, knees and hips would increase because of the weight of the blankets. Continue reading

Faces of Juicing Book

Biotinidase Deficiency Not RA

Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Dec 2003 because of joint pain and fatigue. Found out on July 19, 2013 that I really was profoundly low on Vitamin B7 because of a rare disease called Biotinidase Deficiency. When I found out I was very weak, hardly could get out of bed, could not turn my head without getting light headed, dragging my feet when I tried to walk, struggled to breath daily for years and was having many many other issues. From the first 24 hours of taking Biotin my symptoms started to disappear and my body started getting stronger again.

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