Cortisone

Given how wonderfully cortisone injections have helped my shoulders in the past, I was considering asking my rheumy about it.  BUT, both shoulders would be nice, not just one.  While we’re at it, how about elbows and wrists, ankles…  Maybe not such a good idea.  I didn’t bring it up.

We did, however, talk about how much my shoulders were hurting and she suggested a cortisone injection.  I asked if (1) she could do both shoulders, or (2) there was something systemic instead of limiting it to one joint.  Shot down twice!

  1. Only one joint injection at a time.  No reason given, but I already know that insurance will only pay for one so I’m guessing that’s the reason.
  2. The biologics are considered systemic and if we try prednisone right now, it wouldn’t be clear if any improvement is from the pred or from the Enbrel.  Only one change at a time.

The one-change-at-a-time part makes perfect sense to me.  I remember a couple years ago when I was given three prescriptions and asked a few weeks later which one had helped.  First time I ever showed annoyance with a medical professional.  How could I possibly know which med was responsible – or if my improvement was a complete coincidence and not related to any of the medications?

My rheumatologist uses depo-medrol (as did my former rheumy) for these injections, and my PCP uses kenalog.  My shoulder hurts worse now than it did before Wednesday’s cortisone shot.  Seriously.  Horrible, burning pain all the time instead of the aggravating rotator-cuff issues I’ve had off-and-on for the past few years.

I don’t know if the difference is the specific steroid or the skill of the person wielding the needle, but I will go on record here and now that if I ever get another steroid shot in the future, it will be from my PCP.

In completely unrelated news, my eldest child turned 16 and now has a driver’s license.