Friday, May 27, 2011 0 comments

Week 36 from Baseline

It's been quite a number of weeks between updates, hasn't it? While I haven't enjoyed neglecting the blog, there really hasn't been too much to tell. My symptoms have been consistency negligible. And there is no point filling this blog with posts that tend to waffle on and on for no good reason.

But I thought it be prudent that I at least drop in.

Last time I posted, was around the last time I had a clinic visit. My visits are now every two months. So it was first time I would visit the clinic since my CO left to move interstate. Actually, my visits are always scheduled for Tuesdays and this week was no different. But since I hadn't set a push notification for the calendar item on the 'ol iPhone, I forgot the appointment. Naturally this did not go on unnoticed.So my appointment was rescheduled for today instead.

As it happens, I missed out on seeing my old CO, who happens to be in Melbourne vising family.; And while she was here, she dropped into the clinic to help out. But she wasn't in when I was there. I am a little disappointing she wasn't there. A part of me misses her familiarity and her friendliness. That's not to say my new CO, CO2, isn't friendly or likable. But my former CO did have a way of making the visits, the poking and prodding almost fun....... Almost.

But there was some familiarity. Flames was around to do my joint assessment.

Today's visit started with CO2 leaving me to the full monty of survey questions while she prepared all my drugs.

Then came the "How are you feeling" question.

I told her about that the SpA is all good. Little bother since my last visit. It's never really been made clear to me what I am supposed to say at these times. I know I'm supposed to talk about my SpA symptoms but I never know if I'm supposed to tell her if I'm noticing other changes as well. I think I'm supposed to. After all, there's a billion and one side effects one can get from taking Adalimumab as can be seen here. So I also told her I think I'm feeling my heart beat in an abnormal way. This is true. I have only noticed this in the past two weeks. When I am idle I notice it. My heartbeat changes to an abnormal beat for around a minute or so. Since I am a First Aid volunteer, I am pretty quick to check my pulse. It feels irregular and thready. And then, just as quickly as it started, it will go back to it's usual normal beat. On two occasions, I recall I felt a little odd at the time. It's hard to describe 'odd'. I guess it could be described in one way like a little bit like a rush. Not the head-spinning kind. But like..... I dunno. A rush.

I'm 34, not overweight, have a decent diet and when the Melbourne winter isn't at its finest, I like a little exercise. I don't really fit the profile for someone who has a high-risk of cardiac issues that require immediate action. I've told my CO2 so I assume its on the record and the doctors, possibly The General, will see it. And I have little doubt that if its a problem I'll get a call soon. And if its not, it'll go into the filing cabinet of irrelevance. Still, I have made a mental note to raise the matter with Dr Flowers next time I see him should the symptom not go away.

My CO2 did have two interesting things to say regarding the post-injection itches which, as have mentioned in previous updates, wasn't an issue until many injections into my treatment. I had pondered whether the preservative that they use to keep the drug good in the syringe was changed. But she said that once I start in the medical trial, they aren't allowed to change anything. The second thing was that it is important to shake off any leeching of the Adalimumab from the end of the needle that occurs after you take the cap off. This is also true. When you take the cap off the syringe just before you jab yourself, a tiny drop or two always comes through the tip of the needle. It will either hang there or it gets too heavy and drops. Well according to CO2, that can bounce onto your skin as the needle penetrates. And this can contribute to the allergy symptoms.

So I made sure to shake any leakage off before self-administering my invasive lovely.

There is no itching now. But the lack of drippage isn't the reason. There is no itching now because there is something else. A dirty rotten bruise. The only time I have ever bruised up after a needle since I started the trial was when my CO stuck me badly. I've never caused that in myself before. Another first.

It might be a choice between bruises or itches. Grand.