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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing okay! I got some exciting news that I wanted to share with you all. As some of you know, I have been wanting to go back to school to get in the medical field. Well, I finally applied to several schools and I got excepted into a technolgy school in Charlotte. I took the entrance test and ended up doing very well and I will not have to take any pre-recs! Woohoo :-)! Since I have no pre-recs, i will be finished with the program by next June. I will be taking medical assisting. The only thing that I am a little hesitant about is it will be 21,000 dollars for the school. All books, uniforms, and clinicals will be paid for with that. It still seems outragous to me? I know several of you have been in the nursing field...is that cost redicioulous? I have tried to look it up online but I guess I would have to go meet with the individual schools to find out. Another thing is classes are mon-thurs 5:30-10:30. I will have to keep my job so I can keep my medical insurance. So mon-thur I will be leaving my house at 7am and probably won't get home till 11:30-11:45pm. Then I will have the homework so I am looking at very little sleep. I am also waiting on a note from my rhuemy to tell the school that she believes i would be able to do the medical assistant job with lupus.
Update on my health...I still am having the dizzy spells, nausesness, hot-cold flashes, full body tremors...Def will be mentioning it to my rhuemy when I see her in 2 weeks. I also have started having migraines that make me vomit. If I wake up with the headache, I know its gonna be a rough day. The headaches got more intense last friday when my nephrologist upped my cellcept. Have lost my apetite..have to make myself eat at least once a day. Not complaining about that. I have lost 10 pds in the last 2 weeks. So my goal is 50 more pds to loose! Joint pain is back :( but usually only for the first few hrs after waking up. Once again when I urinate the water in the toilet is a tea color. Nephrologist knows...says Kidney function is still good. Guess I will find out more when I see him in 2 weeks. Getting blood and urinalysis done every week again. Is it true that drinking alcohol in moderation is good for the Kidneys? A friend mentioned it to me. I had been avoiding it but if it helps...
 I know I probably shouldnt be getting ready to start school in May but I am tired of waiting. What do you all think? Do I need to wait another semester? I am just scared if I wait, my joint pain will get to where it was before the IV's of Solu-Medrol and I won't be able to do it. I am ready to get into my career and accounting is def not it. I dunno, I guess I am looking for advice/suggestions.
Sorry this is so long. I have been feeling lonly the last few days even though I am surrounded by loving family and friends.



21 years old...Systemic Lupus 11/07, lupus nephritis 01/09, raynoids 03/08, Carpal Tunnel 03/08

Ultram, Prednisone, Cell-Cept, Lisinopril, Imuran, Ambien, Flexeril, Darvocet, Ferrious Sulfade, Calcium, Vitamin B12, Chantex, Aspirin 81 mg, Vitamin C

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Amy, its unhealthy to lose more than 10 pounds a month. As for all your symptoms, its meds related. Side effects at that. Hot/cold flashes = prednisone Naseau= Imuran Dizzyness and body tremors can be either meds however I'm betting prednisone. Call your pharmacist and find out all side effects on each meds, but I do know for a fact the hot cold flashes are prednisone related and naseau is imuran related.

Prednisone gave me the hot/cold flashes. I asked my doctor cuz I'm 28 how on earth I could have them being so young. He told me it was the prednisone and to "Consider it a preview of what is to come in the future". Men lol! Imuran always made me naseauated, then after awhile it caused severe vomiting to where I had to go in the ER for iv fluids and Iv meds. I also had loose stools from imuran. After a few months I scared the crap out of all my doctors and won a GI doctor when I started litterly having a menstrual cycle out of my rear. Then it was discovered it was the Imuran that made me so sick, so they tried cell cept but I got hives. He tried to ask me if it was anything I ate, then I told him it had to be the cell cept cuz I took it first thing when I got up and I took it with water, so if he could figure out on a empty stomach and taking it with water if it was anything else but the cell cept to let me know. He didnt even believe me at first if I knew what hives were. Ive only grew up with severe allergic reactions, so I told him "Its hives, and if my airway would of swelled I would of went straight to my purse and got my epi pen out and administered it. Then I would of got my ass to the hospital. So if I dont know what allergic reactions are, then why on earth do I have to carry an epi pen?" He was speachless, found out from another doctor that he wrote in my medical chart "She definately does know what allergic reactions and hives are." I really dont like my oncologist, but I heard he is the best of the best in my state.
Smurfy Shadow
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel
Medications:  Prednisone, Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
oops...i need to fix my signature too. They took me off Imuran in Feb after the cellcept had time to kick in. Ever since I have started the cell cept I have loose stools and sometimes will have 4-8 bowel movements a day. My kidney doctor told me to take pepto and see if that helps. Cause I need to stay on Cellcept. Can't take plaquenil because of reaction to it. Imuran didnt work. So i guess that leaves cellcept and methotrexate. They don't want to put me on methotrexate cause of how it treats the kidneys.
It made me laugh when i read what you said to your doc about allergic reactions. Im not supprised to hear he is one of the best in your state. They seem to not take people seriously, or maybe its just our age. My first rhuemy is and was one of the best and came highly recomended but did not take me seriously. I find that funny now because when I went to my rhuemy who I go to now, she immediatly got concerned cause of the size of my joints and can't remember the name but the blood test that shows inflamtion, was one of the highest shed seen in awhile. I know its unhealthy to loose 10 pds but cant help it. I have to force myself to eat what I do eat and I will feel like I ate enough for 10 people for several hrs after I do eat. I am figuring its a side effect or maybe even from inflamtion. With the pred and the side effects...at least we are being prepared for what is later in life to come. Maybe by that time, because of everything we have been through, it will be a breeze!!! 



21 years old...Systemic Lupus 11/07, lupus nephritis 01/09, raynoids 03/08, Carpal Tunnel 03/08

Ultram, Prednisone, Cell-Cept, Lisinopril, Imuran, Ambien, Flexeril, Darvocet, Ferrious Sulfade, Calcium, Vitamin B12, Chantex, Aspirin 81 mg, Vitamin C

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 4/26/2009 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Amy that is awesome! You're going to be a wonderful medical assistant!  Congratulations! yeah You're entering a field that is dire need of people who can relate and empathise with patients.  You couldn't be more perfectly suited for this!
Oh, I don't think moderate alcohol consumption is good for the kidneys.... It's definitely not good for your liver, and not good to mix with your meds!  I'd pass on that piece of advice!  Water, water, and more water!!
Love ya girl!
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

35 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety, Chinook migraines. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
Co-Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 4/26/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Amy, I know you're young and looking towards the future, but I'm afraid I have to give the same advice to you as I did to a friend of mine with RA. Entering the medical field will expose you to every illness that is creeping around out there. Most of our medications, even pred lower or even halt our immune systems. You will need to be very careful about washing your hands, but that won't protect you from airbourne pathogens. Also, if your joint pain is in your hands, keep in mind the amount of writing you will have to do and the amount of work that is required of your hands. I used to work as a Vet Tech, I went to school for it and loved it. My hands are so bad at this point, that I would not be able to safely restrain and animal or even properly hold a syringe. I am unable to do much writing, and in the medical field, everything must be charted. I really don't want to be a downer, I just want you to consdider all of these things very carefully before you commit yourself to the time and expence involved. I would like to also note that I absolutely loved working in animal health. I didn't mind the mess, the stress and even the bites and scratches, but I now know that it's something I can no longer do. Even exposure to certain viruses can trigger lupus flare. I read somewhere that parvovirus can cause lupus flare up. I'm not taking any major immunosuppresents at this time, but even still I avoid sick people. All of this considered, if you think your health is strong enough and you have the energy, then God Bless you and go for it! You could try applying for Pell Grants or other assistance. Maybe even Voc Rehab can help. Go to the financial aide office and apply for everything you find. There are tons of grants out there and you don't even have to pay them back. Best of luck.


PCP pretty convinced- Lupus , Taking plaquenil,Propranolol,  Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Lortab.   Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.



Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 4/26/2009 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
There is a great description of the duties of a Medical Assistant at the Dept of Labor website www.bls.gov/oco/ocos164.htm. It seems that usually they perform paperwork duties in a doctor's office.

While I think puccini914/jennifer does have some points worth considering, I also think there are some low-risk positions that would be perfect for you. (Where there are not communicable illnesses - Like in a rheumy's office! :-)). While we do take medications to suppress our immune systems, that's because we are *overactive* in the first place -- they don't have to wipe out every immune response we have. And what great personal care you could get working for a rheumy!

If you have joint pain in your hands, elbows, and shoulders, I could see how this might not be the easiest job to do -- but then again, name a job that doesn't use our hands! If typing doesn't bother your hands -- well, I bet most of the paperwork is on the computer.

The cost does seem a bit high to me -- 5 hrs * 4 nights/wk * 52 wks = 1040 hrs -- same as working full time for six months. So if you have to get a loan for $21,000, could you make enough to pay if off comfortably? That's probably how I'd look at it. And if you don't try you'll always wonder "what could have been"!

I'm sure you'll consider everything and make the decision that is right for you!
Be well and be happy!

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Plaquenil, Prednisone(15 5mg), Piroxicam, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva, Wellbutrin, Valtrex, Vicodin, Prilosec
Links: Diagnosing Lupus (4 of 11), Lupus.org Info, Lupus Resources, Help HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Life is far too important to be taken seriously. –Oscar Wilde, 1882

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/26/2009 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
And I think that you should take every opportunity you can to LIVE your life doing what you desire. I think that mothers are exposed to as many diseases as a a nurses or an assistant. Kids are horrible carriers, but we still have them. ( I'm not birthin no more babies!) Anyway, take all the chances, You can't sit around waiting to get sick or afraid to make a move or a decision just in case. Go for it Amy girl! Live! Learn! Expereince the adventure! You cant ever say 'What if"!!!


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 323
   Posted 4/26/2009 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Amy, I wish the best for you, pace yourself ,sleep when you need it... Good Luck
Asthma,Lupus,H.B.P.,Dermatomyostis,Gastrparsis,Acid Reflux   
                Panic Attacks,Osteopenia,Thyroid  
  Advair,Diovan,Actonel,Prednisone on and off Eye Drops,VitaminD.     

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 4/27/2009 1:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I was a medical assistant when I was younger and there are many places you can work where you can minimize your exposure to germs. Being aschool teacher or mom gets you sick all the time too. At least hospitals make an effort to control germs, while other places like supermarkets and malls and large offices and elementary schools don't. I worked in the pharmacy, and in the bloodbank, but there are more exciting places to work than that where you aren't like in the ER waiting room or a really disease ridden area. I hope you can get your school paid for. I am so happy for you. I'm sure you will work it out. Beware of the prednisone crash, I always start feeling normal again and start all these things, then the tapering starts and I get to a point where I have trouble finishing them. But you are young and theres some other stuff out there to help with the fatigue too. Well, Congratulations!
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 4/28/2009 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for all your words and advice. I have decided to Start on May 4th. My doctors "permission" note should be here by Friday so they are going ahead and letting me start before we recieve it. Tomorrow I go to meet with financial aid. Since I had a guardian until 18, I am classified by the gov't as a independent so I do not have to use anyone else's tax info except mine for the fafsa, and it looks like I am going to get a good chunk of grants. Thank goodness :)Then on thursday I go for orientation, will get my books and everything for the first semester and measured for my scrubs! Woohoo. I can't believe all this has happened so quickly. My last 3 months of the program, I will be working in the environment I would like to...(doc office) and I have been told that you build relationships with the people and they usually ask you to stay on and will hire you! I am going to try my hardest to get in with a rhuemy or a nephrologist.
Once again my work has proved to be wonderful. I talked to them about changing my schedule so I can leave at 5:00! My boss and her supervisor called me in the office and said that it wouldnt be a problem. They also said that because i am going back to school, they arent going to fire me or get rid of me. That they where proud of me and all they ask is that i give them a good notice when I get ready to start my career! How many jobs do that...especially with them knowing I am not going to be there for much longer. They also started asking about my health and if I had checked with my doc to make sure it wouldnt be too damaging to my body. I am really going to miss working for them when I leave. They have been so suportive and caring since I got out of the hospital. Well, I will stop rambeling now. Thank you again for being my support group :-)
Love ya all and I keep you in my prayers daily!!!!



21 years old...Systemic Lupus 11/07, lupus nephritis 01/09, raynoids 03/08, Carpal Tunnel 03/08

Ultram, Prednisone, Cell-Cept, Lisinopril,  Ambien, Flexeril, Darvocet, Ferrious Sulfade, Calcium, Vitamin B12, Aspirin 81 mg, Vitamin C

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