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Thread: In need of new rheumatologist in Atlanta, GA

  1. #11
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    Default Re: In need of new rheumatologist in Atlanta, GA

    @drz — I haven’t noticed any changes so far. I started out alternating 5 mg one day and 4 mg the next. Now, I’m alternating 5 and 3 for an average of 4 mg/day. I’m essentially getting only a partial dose some days while getting a full dose on the other days. Perhaps this approach is easier on my body.

    My normal routine of exercise is unchanged, and I feel fine.
    Last edited by Pete; 11-17-2017 at 01:43 AM.
    Pete
    dx 1/11

    "Every day is a good day. Some are better than others." - unknown

    "Take your meds as directed and live your life as fully as you can." - Michael Chacey, MD

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: In need of new rheumatologist in Atlanta, GA

    Quote Originally Posted by jmq View Post
    Hi there,
    My rheumatologist here in Atlanta, GA fired me because I went to the Cleveland Clinic to consult with Dr. Villa Forte twice. She told me I couldn't have two rheumatologists and told me to continue care with Dr. Villa Forte. I sent Villa Forte a portal message about the possibility of using her as my regular rheumatologist but her assistant told me Dr. Villa Forte could not order the Rituximab infusions from Cleveland, that I needed to find a local rheumatologist or be willing to fly to Cleveland for every infusion. Currently in the middle of my second Rituximab infusion of the year (1st one was in February). But it's not only the infusions, which will only be twice a year, but it's also the labs that need to be done very regularly to check my ANCA markers. I think I would feel better to have someone local in case I am not feeling good and need to see a Dr. right away.

    Dr. Villa Forte had referred me to Dr. Atul Khasnis who was her fellow several years ago, but unfortunately he is not currently taking any new patients bc he is leaving his practice and, when I asked, they couldn't tell me where he was going. I think it's that non-compete agreement. He is not leaving until middle of December and I need to see a Dr. sooner than that.
    Another doctor I tried was the Emory Vasculitis Center Doctor, Dr. Tiliakos, but his first new patient appmt is not until January of next year. I need to see someone no later than beginning of December, 2017.
    If anyone out there has good results with any Atlanta Rheumatologist, please let me know.
    Thanks!
    Jeannette
    Hi Jeannette,

    I private messaged you also, but in case there are others in our Georgia area, I would highly recommend Jonathan Waltuck, a rheumatologist at Emory. I have been seeing him about 7-8 years.

    Apparently I am his first patient with SLE lupus and Wegeners and the Wegeners seems to cause the most problems and pops up/attack’s different areas, including sinuses- the eyes, the ears, vocal chords, trachea, lungs, purpura, some kidney and something called strider with laryngeal edema.

    Today I had my 2nd round of my second treatment of Rituxan at Emory that he ordered. He goes on vacation I think the end of every year and the times I have gone to my family’s Christmas gathering I start the slow build of my flare 24 hours later. Three Christmases ago I ended up at the Emory Emergency Room and since my oxygen was low they admitted me but you could tell they didn’t know what to do and Dr. Waltuck was off. I was discharged after a few days with them telling me not to take so much prednisone and reminding me of all the terrible side effects and one young guy said I might look into that hoarseness which is always one of latter stages.

    A couple weeks later I saw Dr. Waltuck and didn’t progress much, but the energy it took to push in an effort to see him made me relapse and I lost my voice completely and cough worsened which caused spasms and I had laryngeal edema and my throat closes off up to my tongue like you would imagine anaphylactic shock. My throat and my face swells and this is when I am popping the prednisone like candy. I lost an kind of vocal. So I say Michael Johns who headed the Emory vocal Center Midtown (He’s now in Beverly Hills and I highly recommend).

    I had vocal chord paralysis caused from the infection in my chest especially trachea and the persistent cough would cause the laryngeal spasms. I later learned this can be part of stridor, a condition that can come with Wegeners and caused other weird symptoms in the “danger phase” (my term). Dr. Johns didn’t know if my voice would come back. I learned the only cough syrup that works is the hydrocodone syrup. Botox shots did not work. The syrup any time I coughed Bactrim 60 mg prednisone and I started seeing Dr. Waltuck every month and he was shocked at the difference in a couple weeks and I had an iPad video of the swelling and laryngeal spasm to show him. And he agreed my cough sounded like a seal.

    I realized I need an Emergency Room and he agreed to work with Dr. Langford at the Cleveland Clinic. She’s the one I settled on after reading a lot of reviews. But my havenese became ill and we thought he didn’t have much longer so I put off. He hung on for over two year. I am just now ready to go there even though the Rituxan is helping. My problem is where to go in an emergency. Dr. Waltuck think it would be beneficial and he said he would work with Dr. Langford and already consults on a couple patients.

    I am 57 and apparently the Wegeners was the cause of my “lingering effects”-the sinus infections and ears draining ( I remember one ENT Dr telling my to blow the hair dryer in my ear-I was getting water in from the shower). The arthritis pain visible on X-rays when I was a freshman in college. The bronchitis that took
    Months rather than weeks to abate. I am saying this to let you know I have been a professional patient on a long medical merry go round. Lots of doctors in Georgia, Tennessee, Los Angeles and a trip to the Mayo Clinic.

    There are many doctors who still talk down to women. That was my experience at the Mayo Clinic in the 90’s and it took me a long time not to doubt myself and what I was feeling. So to me, the best thing I can say about Dr. Jonathan Waltuck is that not once have I ever felt he talks down to me and he really does care about his patients.

    My advice to you Jeanette is to see if Dr. Villa Forte will call Emory and Dr. Waltuck for you. I bet she would and get you in quicker.

    Terese



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