Dr. appointment today

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TiaJoy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/20/2006 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
 I finally had another dr's appointment today. It went okay. Last time I was there he said I was in early stages of ms. He didnt want to do the LP because its still too soon. But today after reviewing my evoked potential results (which came back borderline) and my on going symptoms he decided to schedule my Lp for next Friday. I have to say, I'm not happy about it at all. I did ask him if this could be anything else other then ms, he said it was very unlikely. Don't get me wrong I do not want to have ms, but I'm glad to know that it is actually something and not all in my head (well, you know what I mean LOL) Also, I'm to think about starting avonex (sp?) anybody have any advice on whether or not to start it this soon? I'm not sure what to do. Thank in advance for any input.

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 9/20/2006 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm sorry to hear that it is likely that you have MS.  Getting such a diagnosis is always scary, and MS can be very uncertain.

Have you done any reading over at the National MS Society website? You can find it at www.nmss.org

As for starting Avonex...there is lots of evidence that suggests that the earlier you start any of the disease-modifying drugs, the better your chances of reducing the disability that MS can bring. They all are designed to at least slow the progression of the disease, and reduce the number and intensity of exacerbations.

Note, though, that they won't stop ALL disease progression, nor stop all exacerbations...but, speaking from personal experience, here, if you can reduce even by one, the number and intensity of flares you experience, you'll be much better off than those of us who didn't have such medicines when we were first diagnosed...

Bottom line: if he's willing to prescribe it, I'd certainly start Avonex, and continue to explore the other drugs, in case there is some reason in the future that you want or need to switch.

Don't hesitate to ask questions about the lp, if you have them.  Good luck with it next Friday.


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 9/23/2006 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey TiaJoy

Seems as tho i'm behind on my reading here...i'm sorry u'r appt went as it did and u'r doc feels it's ms. Have u decided on a treatment? I don't have any experience with any of the drugs used for ms (not dx'd), but i'm sure others will be here to add to Uppity's advice. I agree with her tho, if he thinks it's ms and is willing to prescribe one of the meds, i'd get on it. Take care and I hope u are doing well.

rhonda

TiaJoy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/24/2006 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the advice. I did look at the mss website in fact I called them and found a chapter somewhat in my area and they sent me some info. I'm going to call the avonex number on Monday. I'm still confused on what to do. I know i need to start it, but for some reason I'm hestitant to. I think one reason is that I dont want to add any more financial obligations to my household, also, as good as my family has been through all this, I don't want them to see me sick (with the side affects). . Plus I have hundred more thoughts on it. But I know that if I don't take it, chances are that I may become so disabled that I won't be able to work (it's very hard to get through the shift now) and that would be a huge financial burden and the kids will see me sick most of the time instead of just a day or two from the injection side affects. so, I THINk that i will start them after the holidays.

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 9/24/2006 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't know what kind of health insurance you have, but if you have prescription drug coverage, they generally cover Avonex at the same cost of any other prescription.

Mine covers my Betaseron, for example: I pay $15 / month, the same as I'd pay for any other "brand" drug (and $5 a month for generics..)
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 9/24/2006 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree, if your doctor is willing to prescribe one of the injection therapies for you then I would start it. Research shows that the sooner treatment is started the better the outcome over the long term. Not everyone with MS will become disabled but the progression of the illness varies so much in the individual the injections are the best way, right now, to slow the process.

It is expensive. Do you have prescription coverage at your work? Most likely with a definate dx and prescription coverage the copay is what you are looking at costwise in most cases. If for any reason it is not covered, there is an organization called NORD that can help with the cost.
 
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TiaJoy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/24/2006 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I do have insurance on prescriptions, although lately its been a nightmare to find a precription that they cover. They changed their formulary lists and now just about everything is non-fumulary which means I have to pay the first 100 dollars. I checked about a month ago on the avonex- if I order it through the mail its $125 for 3 months. My doctor said that a nurse will come to the house to give it to me. So I assume that I order it and keep it here. Does insurance cover that under dr's visits?

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 9/24/2006 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
You need to talk with both your doctor and your insurance company. It would be unusual for a nurse to come regularly (weekly) to give you a shot. One will come when you first start it, to teach you *how to inject yourself*, and be available (by phone) thereafter, but I don't think anyone has a nurse coming regularly to do it.

The by-mail thing: again, check with your insurance company. It would be impossible for us to tell you how it will work with your individual plan. Some plans have mail order services, which mean you only have to pay one co-pay for a three month prescription, thus aving you money (not having to pay a monthly co-pay.

Most of us order this drug -- it either comes by mail, or we pick it up at our local pharmacy, just lilke any other prescription, then either inject ourselves, or have a spouse or willing companion do it. It's not that big a deal, once you get used to how it all comes together.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

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