... Please come visit my new blog at http://girlparker.com.
Hope to see you there!
I had a checkup yesterday and got excellent news. The new medication, Imuran, is working well. My inflammation markers are much lower than a year ago. They're still elevated above normal levels but, in my world, I considered doing a cartwheel. The fine folks at Minor & James Medical Center are happy I refrained.
So, the Imuran shall stay at the same dosage. "Keep doing what we're doing."
But I have an idea.
An autoimmune disease generally means the immune system is supercharged and now, perhaps being bored, is fighting against natural tissues. Wikipedia put is this way:
Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells. The immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks it.
When we're trying to improve our health, don't we usually push fruits and veggies, take our vitamins, get lots of sleep, and ask for Mom's chicken noodle soup (with a dish of tapioca pudding after)? In fact, we're planning to get a juicer to increase our F&Vs, hoping to improve my health and maybe drop a pound or two.
If it's looking to pick a fight, how about we give it something to do? What if the secret is more enemies, not less? What if we put locked it into an immune system cage match?
I suggest we test drive the following mottos:
Who's with me? I'll see you at the bakery in 10... (and I'll save you a spot on the treadmill next to mine)
When you have an ongoing "condition," your household develops a routine - an understanding of who helps who. The patient doesn't mean to take advantage, "she" just can't keep up.
Imagine my surprise when JP came home from work three days ago, limping and grimacing. Watching him remove his steel-toed work boots sent shivers down MY spine, and I was wearing fuzzy socks.
The next day he tries to work, but comes home early, in even worse pain. (For the record, I told him not to go... why doesn't anyone ever take my advice?)
A few phone calls later and I had him scheduled to see a podiatrist the next morning. When he woke up, he was worse, gritting his teeth just to stand.
At that moment, it dawned on me how little I am. I can't lift JP. I can't pull JP. The best I can hope for is to break his fall. He hopped to the bathroom, managed to shower, and wobbled out to the truck. Long story short -- Gout.
Now it's Freaky Friday in our house and I'm checking with him. "What can I get you? You need anything?" He's actually a good patient (perhaps better than me? -- no comment). And his sense of humor is not affected. For example, while reading online the treatments for gout, without missing a beat, he said, "And the No. 1 treatment is the love of a good woman." However, when he didn't like my shopping list for the grocery store, he texted me to find him "a good woman in the frozen food section."
Uh huh... that's when I realized...
I can say anything I want, and he can't catch me!
You'll Remember." Sing it Natalie!
I have Wegener's Granulomatosis - just by way of review. (Whoops... there went my close friends clicking over to "photography." Or to another blog. I understand. It gets old.)
But, I'm not here to whine or complain. In fact, it's time for a mini celebration!
My doctor was unhappy with my last blood draw (inflammation markers up) and changed my meds, taking me off of methotrexate and starting Imuran. Sigh. I took this three years ago and it caused mouth sores and thinned out my hair.
So, being thus forewarned, I mentally flirted with cutting off my hair.
The flirtation turned to dating on and off, checking out websites, staring at cute haircuts ahead of me in line.
The dating morphed into engagement. "Hello, Joel? Cut-n-Color, STAT."
(Joel Burrow of Lavish Hair Salon - if you're in Seattle, I highly recommend.)
Then the walk down the aisle - snip, snip, and off it came!
But even more exciting is that my hair is thick and healthy, and I'm almost done with my second bottle of Imuran. Happy Dance!
Before and after below.
Vast improvement, right?
Cowardly lion, Be Gone!
Nothing?!! Just the grim reminder in BIG LETTERS - No cause. No cure. Cue the creepy, you're doomed music.
Well guess what, there's no cure for being hit by a bus, either. Why don't we plaster that slogan in big purple and red letters on the side of every public transit double-decker.
Plowed by a Bus?
Cure: Natural Selection.
I'll be saving my contribution dollars, unless they go straight to developing a graphics department.
Geez, the folks in the Syphilis Art Department had their act together in the 1940s! Who doesn't love the green hand reference to the wicked witch? Or how about the happy painter man who stopped off at the casino before going to his doc? And this was before Adobe was more than a mud siding in the southwest.
I protest. I don't want the unartistic disease. It's asking too much.
I get tired of repeated doctor appointments, don't you? They come in waves, with several months of quiet in between, thank goodness. But since they switched me to Imuran, I gotta go back in three weeks. Well, it should be in two weeks, but I rebelled against the new Rx because... well, I guess because I reverted to being 12. What can I say?
Anyhoo, I just found a hilarious youtube video of Brian Regan, my favorite comedian. Too bad my timing is terrible. If only I could quote this to Dr. Stoic.
Ode to Hairstyles
You can mark the time
by the style of my red hair
A snapshot of when.
Ponytails and bangs
gave way to bilevel perms.
What was I thinking?
Long hair with curls
or copying the Rachael,
You know the era.
Now it's time to cut.
Doc changed meds, cause side effects.
Thinning hair is one.
So! Short hair is in!
Maybe a Posh cut is due.
Or perhaps a wedge.
If wigs come after,
JP wants one of his own,
The George Washington.
I have to apologize. It's a weight on my chest. I said stupid things and I cried. I see now (and probably did at the time, if you must know) that I was being pathetic and childish. Sigh.
Do I blame the prednisone? Well, yes partly. But completely? No, I cannot.
About a year ago, I read a blog by a woman with WG who said the prednisone made her "think in yells" for years. Amen. But just because my brain is screaming doesn't mean my mouth needs to imitate it.
I hang my head.
Got any good dinner ideas I can make? I wonder if humble pie comes in pecan flavor. It's his favorite.
Sorry for that long post, but did you notice I got it done at 11:00? Notice I never specified AM or PM.
Pretty good, huh?! True, I have no film to share, but at least I was timely. Something I hear agents and editors are sticklers about. You know, should I ever have one. hee-hee!
Yesterday ended at Johnny Rockets.
Because I was blue.
Because onion rings seemed a good way to cope.
Because the doctor did not give me good news.
Because I'm blessed with a good man who kept hugging me and wanted to make me smile.
I have moderate-to-severe lung inflammation. Apparently, because of the Wegener's, a springtime cold morphed into a hairy beast with fangs.
The doctor is new to me, as my regular is out on maternity leave. He's highly educated, I know, but he was almost silent the whole time. Not comfortable. He read my records while I sat quietly.
Then he asked a few questions and started typing while I answered. He was typing my report!! Are you kidding me? He was editing an old report and putting in the new info with yee ole Hunt-n-Peck method. I saw him pause under the heading, Social History, where it says I'm a medical transcriptionist. I broke the silence with, "Yep, I type faster than you." He did chuckle, so I decided not to completely hate him.
Then he blew it. "Have you ever been on a corticosteroid?" (prednisone)
Umm, how's your reading comprehension, doc? It's in every report.
To my shame, I then became an emotional female who doesn't want to gain another 10 lbs. Which I said. To a young, skinny Asian male physician. He just looked at me. Could the gulf between us get any wider?
He then left the room after a brief examination. When he came back, he spoke more than 10 words, all about what I suspected. The above diagnosis, concerns that it's WG related, prescriptions for antibiotics and prednisone, and orders for labs and x-rays. But he softened for a minute and said we'd just try a blast of prednisone for two weeks, not six months, and hopefully it won't cause weight gain. And he tried a faint smile!!
When he demanded that I return in one week, I meekly agreed.