September 19, 2009

Six month Fingolimod visit

Jeez, I can't believe I haven't blogged this yet [brain fart, brain fart]!

September 2nd was the date of my six-month visit to the MS Center to check the status of my lab rat-ness.  I was expecting the usual results because September is oftentimes not a fabulous month for me.  I don't think my MS likes the changing of seasons.  If I'm going to flare though, I'm usually starting to feel wonky in late August and am probably on steroids by the end of September and this year has not been a problem for me at all.

Imagine my surprise - and disappointment - when my research nurse called me two days later and put me on a "drug holiday" because my leukocytes had fallen below where the study parameters require them to be. 

According to this website I found,  White Blood Cell Count Measures the number of white blood cells in a microliter of blood. Normal values range from 4100/ml to 10900/ml but can be altered greatly by factors such as exercise, stress and disease. A low WBC may indicate viral infection or toxic reactions. A high WBC count may indicate infection, leukemia, or tissue damage. An increased risk of infection occurs once the WBC drops below 100/ml. 

I don't know where I have been, other than to say my nurse said I had to be 600 or greater to even enter the study.  Six hundred whats I don't know, but I was at 180 on the 2nd.  I gave up more blood last week and am at 400, still not quite enough to restart the study yet.  I'll be retested in mid-October.  Dammit! 

Well, this confirms for me that I am on real drug.  Fingolimod is known to cause leukopenia in some lab rats.  The hope is it will just suppress some immune function, specifically the part that attacks myelin, not wipe the whole operation out completely!  To repeat...dammit!

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