once more, with feeling

02Jan13

OK, 2012, you win this round.

Just when I thought I made it through the last week safely, yet another KO. With less than 24 hours left in the year, I got a call from my MS specialist’s office–the nurse reporting back some recent and older blood work.

The good news is that I’m negative for a very specific antibody (the JC antibody, for those of you in the know), which opens me up for more MS treatment options, if they become necessary.

The not-so-good news? I tested positive for lupus. The nurse reassured me that occasionally false positives pop up, but I’m a research scientist, and I know the rate at which these do/don’t happen. (Really, false positive rates can be assay-specific, so maybe this is a sloppy test? So why use it? Why not develop a new assay?) I started looking up the rate of co-occurrence of MS and lupus, and it ends up there are a good handful of people out there with not only both MS and lupus, but other inflammatory conditions as well (rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens’, etc). So far, I haven’t shown signs of anything else…

So, while I don’t have any of the characteristic joint achiness or butterfly-shaped rash across my face, I read that a lot of lupus patients have poor circulation in fingers and toes when it gets cold–Raynaud’s phenomenon. I’ve been fighting this issue for years, and it’s gotten so bad that it’s affected travel plans. My general practitioner and I always thought it was genetic…

Overall, though, this is the only noticeable problem, other than perhaps a new label for my chronic headaches (which have decreased in frequency). Nothing really different… just a new label.

And while I’m not one to believe that things “reset” when a new year rolls over, I’m ready to give 2012 a swift kick in the hiney! Moving forward…

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