Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 26 Update-Steve's Still Hanging In There!'s been a long time. 

Steve is still on triple therapy.  On March 13th, he had his last RNA level taken.  The result was <615 IU/mL.  He didn't get an actual count like we were used to.  Then we realized that the lab messed up and did a bDNA test instead of the usual Quantitative Real Time PCR.  With the Quantitative Real Time PCR test, you find out your actual count.  Not so for the bDNA test.  If your numbers are less than 615 IU/mL, your result says <615.  That is what the test considers clear.  So as far as the doctor was concerned, Steve is currently undetectable.

Had some problems getting the Alinia.  Humana did not want to approve more than a 20 day supply per month.  So our doctor called Humana and sent them a copy of the study that can be found on Romark's site:   "Study Showing Improved Virological Response in Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 4 Patients Given Nitazoxanide, Peginterferon and Ribavirin."  After reading the study, Humana approved the full 30 day supply.

We also got the results of the Disability Hearing- Denied.   To paraphrase, the judge's statement said that although there is evidence that Steve is currently disabled, there was not enough documentation of Steve's depression by the doctor's prior to the date last insured.  Therefore, his illness does not meet Social Security's definition of disabled.  After seeing the records, we decided not to appeal. The doctor's truly didn't document the file properly-just mentioned the Hep- even though Steve did discuss the depression with them several times.  And since we waited such a long time to file, there was no way to document today what happened six years ago.  At least, Steve doesn't have it hanging over his head any longer.

Well, that pretty much sums up the last 3 months.  Even though he still feels pretty lousy most of the time,  Steve feels a lot better than he did without the Procrit.  As far as we are concerned, so far-so good.  Only 22 more weeks to go!!!

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