Friday, September 9, 2011 0 comments

Week 52 from baseline

A major milestone visit to K today.  That means the full gamut of tests: bloods for toxicity levels, renal function, liver function and inflammation ratings.  Then there's the blood pressure check, weight check, a full physical, joint assessments, the super-sized version of surveys, and peeing in a cup to ensure I'm not pregnant.

The way that they rate a inflammation is rather fascinating. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver and found in the blood, the levels of CPD rise when there is inflammation throughout the body.  When there is no inflammation in the body, there is no detectable reading. When I first started the trial, my original baseline visit showed my CRP score was 95.  Last time I was tested, 8 weeks ago, my CRP score was 32.

And for the first time since the early days of the trial, I had the pleasure of seeing The General walk in. And I delighted myself with talking with him for a good long while of my experiences so far in the trial and how we thought I was doing.

I am running regularly now with no pain. Furthermore, last week I completed a smooth and steady 9km run that took me around an hour.  So in essence, that's an hour of high intensity/high impact exercise where all my joints, especially the troublesome joints in the lower half of my body are put through some rough challenges.  Okay, so the times are no where they used to be.  Before I crushed my ligaments, before I broke my leg and before I had any idea I would be diagnosed with arthritis in the years that followed, I could crush 10km in 50 minutes. But it was still enough to make the General beam like the moon.

'It's good stuff isn't it?' he asked me referring to the Adalimumab.

'Oooh yeah' came my reply.

The General examined me and he found abnormalities in my ankle related to the trauma. He asked if I use Orthotics and stressed the importance of some correction specific to that area. Those who have read The Pathway to Diagnosis know I do, but it has been many years since I had the need to see my old feet-loving friends.

We also talked about the additional benefits I see during times I don't forget to take Sulphasalazine as well as Adalimumab.  I admit, there are times I'm forgetful and I don't take Sulphasalazine as often as I should.  Remembering to take daily pills was never my strong point. And the usual trigger for me to realise I have had a forgetful spell and get back on the bandwagon,  is that I have a noticeable presence of pain I know is SpA pain and not any other type of pain.

The General confirmed that all of their research concludes that patients who supplement Adalimumab with another drug generally see better results than when using Adalimumab on its own.

Next review is in 8 weeks. With any luck, I’ll have entered myself into my first fun run since 2003.