No Harpo -- he was already on the imuran when we first went to Mayo in October. Mayo increased it from the 75mg low dose that his local GI put him on - she purposely started him on the lower end of things and they doubled it. Having been on it for 4 months or so, various lab results, prometheus results and the fact that he was showing signs of tolerating it with no problem they put him up to 150 and not the 200mg he could have been put up to. Should the local Dr have started him at 150 immediately??? Probably, but she told us from the start that she preferred to begin this particular medication more conservatively.
(6 weeks after the imuran was started he was able to do things and go places he hadn't been able to do previously - limited, but nonetheless not a recluse any longer either.)
Our local GI suggested to us that she wanted to send a referral to them when he was first hospitalized in mid May as he had such a stubborn case. She was doing everything by the book but really had his best interest uppermost in her mind. The Mayo has a great reputation, on the cutting edge of things yadda yadda and she wanted to be sure she wasn't missing anything since she is in a smaller practice and felt she was running out of options for him. (How nice to have an honest Dr without a huge ego and she is so totally honest and has a great bedside manner. We really have a great relationship with her.) Our insurance covers it and we really were at the point that a second opinion was something we thought would be a good idea.
By the time the Mayo appt came in Oct he was on his way to being so much more functional. The additional care, few changes to some meds, additional tests, the GI doctor there and colo rectal surgeon also came up with some other suggestions to incorporate into his care. We had and have faith in our local doctor but if we had not gone to Mayo I'm not so sure that he would have progressed to the point where he is now. And maybe he would have.
So -- even though it is having two doctors for the same thing more or less....we are now at the point we will continue with local care and see the Mayo Clinic every 6 months. Both Dr's are communicating with each other also.
Around the time he was hospitalized and I found this Healing Well Forum, all the info, advice and hours of reading posts on this board made me so well informed that I was so well prepared and became quite the advocate on his behalf. I only wish I found this place 6 months earlier and maybe he would have avoided hitting rock bottom with that intolerable flare. But that's history now and we are just so grateful for this reprieve.
Hopefully he will attain a full remission and be lucky to have it last for a good while. The Dr's are pleased and feel things are going the way they should. Hopefully they are right.
Since there are no guarantees with this - we are going to enjoy what we can and hope it continues.
I know I could have responded with a one or two sentence response but I take the time to go into detail and depth just in case there is something here and there I might say that might help someone out there.
61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07 Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days. 150mg Imuran 2 1/2 mg prednisone & tapering, 12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 40 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month