Friday, 18 December 2015

blood and fire

Earlier this week I had my 3-month blood test to ensure that Tecfidera wasn't completely messing me up. It has been a breeze so far, and so much more non-intrusive than the injections I was on.

I've not really suffered any major side-effects at all - the closest I've come was two separate occasions when I've got a bit cocky and had taken the tablet after a light breakfast, which led to something very similar to a panic attack.

The solution? The first time I ate a bag of nuts, the second time I ate a Babybel [other conveniently wax-encased cheese snack products are - presumably - available]. In both cases the symptoms passed almost immediately.

So I was pretty much sleep-walking into my blood test. Also we've been caught up in School Nativity shows and all the other parts of the the incoming festive behemoth.

Which is why it came a bit of a shock when a friend of mine who started Tecfidera on the same day as me was told that her test had showed that her Liver function was elevated. She's been asked to go in for another test and if it's still elevated she'll have to look at other treatment options.

Obviously this sent me into a bit of a panic - which was utterly pointless. I mean, what could I do to reverse it anyway?

Anyway, long story short: when they called with my results, my Liver and Kidneys are doing fine on Tec - YAY.

My white blood cell count was slightly low, but this is apparently 'normal' - they just want to keep an eye on it, so I'll be getting a few blood bags so I can get some tests done with my local GP. Who will also be getting a strongly worded letter from the MS Nurse about Vitamin D levels (we mentioned the conversation we had over 2 years ago). She reiterated what Dr Gran had said at the Nottingham event in October, that 4,000 international units per day of Vitamin D is the recommended dosage.

We mentioned my mobility and my new wheelchair (did I mention that I've got a proper wheelchair? Well, surely you've seen it, right? It's been in the back of my car for the last couple of months at least... And before that it was in our kitchen. Plain as day), and my municipal grey walking stick (still bent due to the almighty strop I had in Italy this summer - I'm not proud).

We talked about other mobility options like crutches and managed to see a Physio. I had a go with crutches (just a bit weird and restricting) - the Physio said, "perhaps you're not ready for those yet...". And then I tried TWO brand new municipal grey walking sticks at the same time, and that was brilliant.

To be honest, I've never been sure which side I should have my stick in order to support my weaker left leg, so I spend a fair amount of time switching from side to side. And whichever side I use, I invariably get chronic pain in my shoulders.

Using two sticks I can really get a good head of steam - but like the man said, "don't get cocky".

I don't know if I'll be able to find time to write anything over the next couple of weeks (see above: BEHEMOTH), so if there's anyone out there, Happy Christmas and a Healthful New Year. Thanks for reading this far!

This is pretty much my favourite song from this year. It's also Barrack Obama's favourite tune. So that's another thing we have in common. Unsurprisingly this fantastic album is cleaning up in the end-of-year polls - it's nice to be right every once in a while!


swisslet said...

Compliments of the season to you, Steve. I hope you have a nice, restful and stress-free break. At least as much as is reasonably possible! Me, I'll be running as usual, and trying not to think about the even more running I'll start doing in January as we build up to the marathon again (amazingly, the Virtual Runs I managed to wangle to help with the fundraising - which had a serendipitous Star Wars theming - are likely to raise £4k. £4k! Imagine what they can do with that!)
It's been a real pleasure reading your thoughts, here and elsewhere, in 2015, and I look forward to more of the same in 2016.

Ms. CrankyPants said...

Wait, what? Tec and a wheelchair? Sticks? The orig. Sexy Stick retired? I've been away too long.