Every morning I make a ship-wide diagnostic. I take a mental scan of my body from feet all the way to my head before I move. As I rise I'm on red-alert, all hands to battle stations in case something goes array. Usually with this disease there is something that's not functioning well and one of the more upsetting features for me is that I all-to-easily pull back muscles. Not sure what that's all about and either do the doctors. All we can do is monitor the frequency of the spasms and hopefully they will decrease when I start the new medication next week.
TECHNICAL JARGEN ALERT! Interesting, but with some big scientific words. I promise to try to include as many of these in my blogs as possible for all you science and biology nerds and geeks.
Before starting the new biologic, Cimzia, as with any biologic, a complete blood work up is done. They are looking for several things among them liver and kidney function and they also test for TB once a year. Like always, though, mine requires additional testing because during every TB blood work up the QuantiFERON-TB Gold result was inconclusive. The QFT-G is an indirect test for M. tuberculosis infection that is based on measurement of a cell-mediated immune response. Keep in mind that rheumatic diseases are basically a screwed up immune system. So this test is a cocktail of 3 mycobacterial proteins that stimulate the T-cells invitro to release interferon-gamma, which is then measured. Test actually detects infections that are produced by M. tuberculosis complex. My test came back inconclusive so they need to run it again before I can inject a drug that compromises the immune system. The immune system but also be operating within normal parameters before we hit it with a biologic. This biologic specifically targets a cell in the immune system complex that is responsible for inflammation. That cell is out of control - it refuses to obey it's original program and attacks the good soft tissue in my body instead of only attacking bad things.
SHAME on you, TNF (tumor necrosis factor) for not doing what you were originally programmed to do! They are trying to take over the ship - all hands to battle stations - we're going to battle once more.