Thursday, November 19, 2009

As if I didn't have enough crappy news

I was really hoping for some good news when I went to see my rheumatologist, but I didn't get any.

As most of you know, I have rheumatoid arthritis and I have been struggling with it for about a year and a half now. I have been on various different medications, trying different doses to find what works. I have finally reached a point where I feel that the medications are working and I have been feeling better and more capable of doing "normal" things. But, after I had some blood work done, it turns out I am not doing as well as I had hoped.

First, my CBC showed a high platelet count. According to my doctor, this is an indication that I continue to have inflammation which is not being controlled by my medication. Normally, he said, at this point we would probably try to change my medication up to the "next step". However, looking at the rest of my blood test results, we can't do that because the other test that came back high was my ALT (liver function). So, my liver is not responding well to my medication and my ALT more than doubled from my last test a few months ago.

So, what this means for me is that I will actually have to cut my current medication in half. We will have to try to manage pain with pain medications and try to control inflammation with prednisone (which I hate taking!). After two months of that, I will do blood work again, and if the test is o.k. then we can start slowly increasing my medications every couple of months back up to where I am now. Basically, my doctor told me that I am looking at 6 months of trying to deal with the pain and discomfort I thought I was done with.

On the bright side, I talked him into waiting until January to change my meds. Jason and I are going to Rome the week after Christmas and I did not want to have my vacation ruined. At this point, this may be my last chance to take a trip like this.

So, just for future reference, anyone willing to donate half of their liver to me???


Bianca said...

WOW!! Going to Rome right after Christmas? With the whole family or just the two of you? Going with any friends? How fun to go during such a blessed season. Hopefully you can get an audience with the Pope.

As for the med's what a bummer! It seems just when things start to perk up life can throw you a curve ball. Hopefully the inflammation won't be immediate when you start backing down on the med's. Are they going to slowly drop your dosage or just cut you cold turkey? Sometimes I think doctors like to play God a little too much and just like to "trial and error" with people! But that's just my not so humble opinion of course.

Hang in there, and offer up your pain to God (as I am sure you already do). It took John saying that a few times to me before I really pondered that idea and thought to myself, hey maybe my 5 yr old son is onto something.

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

I'm so sorry Brianna. I will have many opportunities to offer things up in the coming months--I will keep your condition especially in my prayers.

As for Rome...I am so excited for you. This will be life changing for you both. My favorite place! Take lots of pictures (as if you weren't going to!)