Friday, 7 August 2015

up and down like a bride's nightie

The magnificent John Shuttleworth (Sheffield's premier songsmith) yet again sums up my life. Warning: this song contains a slightly blue lyric.

So I finally got a letter from the neurologist who had eventually seen my MRI. At the top of the letter was the following titbit:

In a truly mind-boggling display of my inability to see the bright side, I read this as I don’t have Secondary Progressive MS YET.

After being told to actually read the bloody letter properly, I realised that this was the same as me saying that I don’t have cancer or ebola yet – e.g. while this is true at this point in time, it is no more useful than me saying that I haven’t been run over by a car YET or I haven't lost a limb in a bizarre gardening accident YET.

So I eventually accepted that this was the good news that I hadn’t allowed myself to expect.

(although the reference to a "very pleasant gentleman" made me double check that this letter wasn't intended for someone else)

I think my problem is that I know the way that MS tends to play out – 10 years after an initial diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS the majority of people (as high as 80%) will be re-diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS. Subconsciously I was trying to prepare myself for the worst. And yes, I know that this is probably the way that this beast is going to play out but it's not particularly 'mindful'. Or healthy.

So earlier this week I toddled off to the MS Nurses to talk about my switch to Tecfidera... which was a less upbeat meeting than the one we had before.

The Nurse wasn't quite as sold by my need to change medication, quoting much more conservative relapse-rate stats, as well as pointing out the two (so far) instances of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in people taking Tecfidera - one fatal.

An aside: PML would be the correct acronym for 'Piss Myself Laughing' - and yet PMSL seems to be the favoured choice amongst 'young people' in their illiterate texting. What a world we live in...

Seriously - these are the things which wind me up! I am an OLD MAN.

According to the nurse, in these cases the doctors hadn't known to check the white blood cell count of patients before starting the therapy.

I'd gone into this meeting expecting to be sent away with a prescription so this was a bit of a kick in the teeth. But I went off to have my bloods taken there and then, prompting the following waiting-room hilarity...

Another Aside: There's an Italian-themed coffee shop by the entrance of the hospital. I repeat - this is in a HOSPITAL. This coffee shop is called Fonta Nelle... FONTA NELLE... Fontanelle? Just me?

So I was really pleased to get a call from the MS Nurse team yesterday - although my white blood cell count is on the low side, this might be a side-effect of Rebif. Aside from that, there's no reason for me not to switch meds.Yay.

I'll take a two-week break from Rebif (handily coinciding with a holiday we're taking) then toddle off to the QMC for more blood tests, another chance to get any further questions answered, and then I'll hopefully walk out with my first load of pills.

I know that this could be the start of a whole OTHER world of issues but I am so over injecting. The side effects from the pills can't be as bad - can they??

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