This Is What I Was Afraid Of

It’s been a long weekend. On one hand, it was kind of nice to laze around completely. (I even let the dishes go for one night.) But as of the new year, our health insurance ended. I missed the deadline. I thought I had more time, and then all of a sudden it was January 1st. (There’s still time to enroll and escape the penalty. The deadline I missed was for continual coverage.) I completely acknowledge that this was my fault. On the 1st, I tried to enroll but the Access Health CT website wasn’t working. (Literally. No matter what I clicked on and which browser I used, it just kept bringing me back to the home page.)

Naturally, I ran out of Sulfazine (the DMARD I take for my arthritis). I have refills available but can’t call them in without insurance. (Honestly, I have no idea how much it costs out of pocket. I’m kind of scared to find out.) Basically, this medication silences the inflammation that causes my joint pain. It’s only been a few days since my last dose, but already I’m in agony. And while I appreciate that, had I been on top of my game, I wouldn’t be in pain, it points to a bigger problem.

I wasn’t supposed to be on Sulfazine much longer, anyway. My rheumatologist said she wanted to take me off it the next time she saw me. She’d hoped that we were dealing with Reactive Arthritis and that the medication would get rid of it. It’s telling that I’m right back in a flareup.

Last night, during a Target run, I stood in the aisle for a long time debating whether to get some Tiger Balm. I haven’t had to use it in months, but something told me to pick some up. I’m glad I did, because tonight I’m miserable even with it slathered on my knees, hip, and lower back.

I do have some Tramadol left (and took one now), so hopefully I’ve got enough in my old bag of tricks to tide me over until I can get our insurance back on. (Rest, hot and/or cold packs, Tiger Balm, Tramadol.) I’d really hoped that Sulfazine would do the trick, but part of me knew otherwise; I had some breakthrough pain late last month and was starting to question the effectiveness of Sulfa. I guess now I know.

I’m sure my rheumatologist will have an action plan. I’ve really come to respect and trust her. Maybe I need Sulfa combined with another DMARD. Or maybe she’ll want to stop Sulfa and try something else. For now, my mission is to take it easy—and get my health insurance back.

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Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books.

When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging.

Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

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