Continuing my strep throat saga, I went in this evening and insisted on a throat culture because of the enbrel situation. I had been upset all day because I find it so frustrating that not one primary I've ever been to (aside from the one who initially referred me to a rheumatologist) seems to be that familiar with the drugs I'm taking, or autoimmune disease in general. I was praying to God to please find me a primary that can at least spell my medications. The only person I could get an appointment with tonight was a new physician's assistant in a different branch of the primary care office I normally go to. As it turns out, this lady not only has a personal interest in autoimmune disease (her mother has lupus), but she is also intimately familiar with alot of the drugs used in rheumatological disease, including enbrel. And here's the clincher--she personally knows who my rheumatologist is, and validates how extremely brilliant he is. I didn't ask, but I suspect he's her mother's doctor.
This PA seemed very knowledgeable about autoimmune disease in general, and was very easy to talk to. She acted like she actually cared (what a novelty)! She did a throat culture and sent it away to a lab. Evidently, because of the high inaccuracy of the rapid strep test they do in the office, my insurance will not pay for it. She said I probably did not have an active strep infection because my throat is not inflamed at all right now. I'll get back my ASO titer tomorrow, and the throat culture should come back on Monday. This is important because I suspect that I did have strep throat and my rheumatologist will want to know this for sure--the ASO titer will at least be a clue that I've had a recent infection. The throat culture results could possibly tell me if I am still a carrier, since I do not have symptoms of strep throat anymore--if it's positive for strep A then I'm a carrier. This is also important information for my rheumatologist to know.
I was wondering, and perhaps you can correct me if my logic is wrong Erin, what happens if a strep A carrier goes on the biologics? Would they continue to get minor strep infections, since they're already predisposed for them (meaning the bacteria already resides in their bodies)? Or could the drugs actually act as a catalyst and cause more serious strep complications like rheumatic fever or kidney problems?
thanks for listening! Oh, by the way the enbrel is definitely working now--I feel great!