I'm not going to lie...I have had my doubts about Hopkins' Lupus Center. The whole "email me instead of going to the ER" thing had me worried. But I am starting to come around. It was, after all, Dr. Petri (head of the center and my rheumatologist) who figured out that, hey, maybe this patient has gastroparesis. Every other doctor set my symptoms down to a) drug side-effects or b) anorexia. And apparently gastroparesis isn't all that common in lupus, so fair play to her for getting the diagnosis right on the first try.
I've also been impressed by the fact that Dr. Petri is not a fan of long term use of Prednisone. Most rheumatologists try to force as many corticosteroids down your throat (or through your veins) as possible. I hate that approach. Apparently so does Dr. Petri. She has introduced the "no more than one solumedrol shot/infusion series every three months" rule because the research shows that any more frequent administration can result in serious organ damage. Fair enough. As she said, more frequent doses would make me feel better...but they'd be doing serious organ damage in the process. No bueno.
Unfortunately, I am the odd one out when it comes to medications. Drugs that are supposed to be safe tend to cause problems for me. So...we will have to see if I tolerate the new treatment plan Dr. Petri worked out. If I don't she said she'll find something else. This time I'm slightly less skeptical about her ability to do so. I guess the Lupus Center may be worth it's reputation after all.