Friday, March 26, 2010

Down for the count

Two Sundays ago I was at my elder son's house and found that his roommate was coming down with a nasty case of "something". My son and his wife soon followed in her footsteps with everyone in the household --save my 7 year old granddaughter -- rolling around moaning about how terrible they felt in between trips to the bathroom for a chorus of dry heaves.

I decided to keep my granddaughter for a day or two to let everyone have time to revile in their own misery. And the first night we had her, she spiked a fever of 104. So much for saving her from the terrible case of "something."

That was last Tuesday. For the next 4 days I was playing nursemaid/quarantine guard to my granddaughter who so quietly laid in bed, never complaining, and barely moving about. I was trying hard not to catch whatever IT was and washed my hands until they were raw and cracked.

I ended up taking her to the doctor who looked down her throat with a black light/hand gun looking thing and pronounced "She's got strep!"

I'm not convinced of the accuracy of a tool left over from some hippy pot-smoking sixties era novelty shop, so I'm still skeptical that she had strep. We got antibiotics and after another 4 days she seemed better. She probably would have felt better by then anyhow.

So two days before she returned home, I awoke in the middle of the night to much stronger feelings of achiness than I felt should be normal for my nearly 50 body. By midday that day I was spiking my own fever.

I took Advil and laid in bed for an entire weekend while my elderly mother took over caring for my granddaughter. At least I felt she was probably past the contagious stage.

After my 3 days of misery, we finally got my granddaughter returned to her now-well parents, and everything was fine for the next 24 hours.

Then my son awoke on Wednesday saying he ached all over and he had a fever of 101.

Here we go again.

I took him to the doctor today because he still has the fever, but he decided to upgrade his illness and added on bathroom trips for explosions from both cannons if you know what I mean.

The trip to the doctor was mainly due to good old Murphy. He's got some stupid law that mandates a child who is slightly ill on Friday will become deathly ill before the doctor re-opens on Monday. However, this law can be overriden by actually seeing the doctor on Friday thus nullifying the death sentence and causing the mother to appear to hover like a helicopter.

Worked like a charm. The nurse had him blow his nose in a cup (ewwww!) and whatever they did to test it came back saying he has Influenza type A. Great. The bug now has a name.

It has to have been the same thing I had. I did feel nauseated and a little dizzy and very achy and had a fever that for all the world wanted to be 101, but never quite got there, always stopping at 100.8.

Which leads me to the conclusion that my immune system is in better condition than that of my 10 year old son's. I fought this bug off without hardly breaking a sweat and mostly in my sleep.

That's the good news.

Now, after all this, and walking around with a swelled head about how profoundly superior my immune system is from that of the average person, my liver has delivered me a possibly crushing blow...

I get a phone call from the trial coordinator and it's nowhere near my next scheduled appointment date. After swapping our viral stories about how our families have been ill, she got down to brass tacks.

It seems my blood work came back from my last appointment and my liver enzymes (which have never in 3 years been an issue in this study) were slightly elevated. EEEEEK!!

I have to come up for another blood draw next week and hope that the situation has resolved or at least plateaued. Otherwise who knows. She did say that at the current levels I'm not in any danger of having to get off the meds. But she's looking at my blood from a month ago. Who knows how much more *elevated* those little buggers could have gotten?!?

And here I have been worrying all along about losing the medicine due to no medical coverage once it gets approved. I may not last that long!

The only thing I can say that has changed since 6 months ago at my normal liver enzyme levels is my recent discovery of Jello Shooters.

I started making them for John to take to his weekly poker game and naturally I had to sample them to be sure they were fit to serve.

Well, one thing led to another and my friend Karen and I decided that Saturday would be our Jello Shooter making day so that they would be ready for John on Sunday. After all, sampling the recipes is more fun with a friend.

I'll be trusting everyone else's opinions from now on, just in case the combination of Fingolimod and Jello Shooters is what has my liver in an uproar. Sigh. It was fun while it lasted, but I'd rather be on Fingo than hopped up on Jello. The choice is a no-brainer, fortunately for me.

I'll be sure to post back when I find out the results. Not sure how long it takes, but it's been weeks since I had the blood draw they called me about today, so I'm guessing it'll be another several weeks.

Maybe between now and then I'll find something inspiring to blabber about on here...

7 comments:

the queen said...

yes, I think they're being extra careful now that it's close to the wire.

I got dinged the same way on my triglycerides.

TickledPink said...

Whew!

Kim said...

Interesting... I don't recall seeing in the latest consent forms that liver enzymes can be a side effect? Hmph.

Suze said...

Hey Jeri -

Should I assume said Jello shooters are virgin or loaded?

I seem to recall you saying you rarely if ever drink, but just an FYI, alcohol can very well hike your liver enzymes, especially in quantity over time. On top of the Fingo, you may not be able to have much, if any. Just depends on how much the Fingo would affect the enzymes alone.

Suze

TickledPink said...

Ummm they were "loaded" as was I after testing them.

You're right, I am not much of a drinker and actually haven't done any drinking (until now) during this study.

Last shooters were downed a couple weeks ago and I don't plan on doing any more (alas parting is such sweet sorrow).

I mean, they were fun, but not THAT fun. No way am I compromising my Fingo!

DaniellaM said...

Aren't elevated lever enzymes a potential side-effect with any MS medication, more or less? I'm sure they are just being overly-precautious.
I was about to start to take part in Fingo-study, but plans changed due to that the study is approaching it's end. So I'll be starting with Avonex shortly.
What do you mean that you risk being without medication after the approval? I'm from Sweden, so I don't know much about health care in the US.

TickledPink said...

Hi Daniella,

You're probably right that the liver issues are a potential problem with any MS med (except Copaxone, I believe. I never had to have blood work to check during the 8 years I was on it.)

As far as losing the medicine after it's approved, we don't yet have universal health care in this country. At the time of my diagnosis I had no health insurance due to being self employed. Insurance costs too much for me to purchase.

So ever since then (11 years ago) I have had to try to qualify for Medicaid (government coverage for those who are needy) and sometimes I get it, other times I don't.

I have no health insurance I can count on.

However, a health care bill was passed into law recently that will supposedly mean everyone will be covered... but it won't be in full swing until 2014 and what that means to me remains to be seen.

I'm skeptical that my government is actually going to make sure I am provided with quality health care at an affordable cost.