Nov. 25th, 2013

a_bit_of_wit_2: (what is this i don't even)
It's been a whirlwind of the semester, and I'm just about reaching the point mentally where I'm ready for this thing to be over. One and a half weeks of classes remain, and then I can relax. For a while, anyway.

But it's also been a whirlwind of doctors as well. Between far too many trips to my gastro, a weekend hospital stay, two CT scans and a series of X-rays as well, I can say for certain that I've been experiencing a flare-up for a while now. At least for a month.

My Crohn's seems to be very pesky. On the one hand, there are no blockages in the intestine, no obstructions, no narrowing, no fistulae, no stomach ulcers. This is all good. It means I haven't needed immediate surgery. On the other hand, despite it being only active and chronic inflammation, my current slew of meds doesn't seem to be successful in calming it down.

With all these recent tests confirming that it's just inflammation that just keeps on being a dick, my gastro is going to do a special blood test on Wednesday. The timing of this test is important--it can only be done right before I get my next IV infusion of the immunosuppresant I'm on, Remicade.

This blood test is going to check for two things: one, the amount of Remicade in my system; two, if my body is developing antibodies to the Remicade.

The results of this test will yield one of these possible outcomes:

1) Best possible: I don't have enough Remicade in my system and I am not building up a tolerance for it. It means that I simply have to get this medication more often--as it stands, I currently get an infusion of it every 6 weeks.

2) OK possible: I'm developing a tolerance to the Remicade, which means that I need to switch to a new type of immunosuppresant. There are a few others that are used to treat Crohn's, like Humira or Cimzia.

3) Worst possible: I have enough Remicade in my system, no antibodies, but the drug is having no effect. In this case, because the strongest Crohn's meds out there are having no effect, surgery is extremely likely. They would remove the Crohn's-infected intestine, sew the healthy ends back together, and I'd essentially be starting with a clean slate, as if I had no Crohn's. It's not a cure--I would go right back onto the Remicade to prevent (or delay as long as possible) Crohn's disease from returning.

For the moment, however, the guts are quiet. Prednisone is a wonderful thing, but it's not meant for long-term use. Obviously, I don't want surgery--not only do I have things to look forward to this semester break, but I also have a spring semester as well. I don't want to lose a 5th semester to Crohn's disease, especially since I'll officially be a senior. I can finally start to see the fucking finish line.

Also, worrying about myself only makes things worse. Stress isn't good for me, my guts, or my April. So I plan on enjoying this Thanksgiving and finishing out this semester strong--as it stands, I'm heading for straight A's, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna stumble here. I'll deal with the results of the blood test when I get there.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy it, be safe, and for fuck's sake, don't go out on Black Friday. I don't wanna see you dead. :)


a_bit_of_wit_2: (Default)

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