Progress?

The latest lab results are in, and the news is good. Or bad. It depends on how you look at it.

There is one level in particular my doctor has been watching, hoping to see downward movement with this latest increase of Methotrexate. I'm at the highest dose possible, but the C-Reactive Protein  inflammatory marker in my blood still managed a two point increase in the last month from 19 to 21.4. Normal levels are 4 or below. Neutrophils, leukocytes, and the white blood count are still elevated. That means the Methotrexate is not working.

This is bad, but it is also good. Methotrexate is the kind of medication that can do more harm than good to those who use it regularly. It was also the last of the DMARDs my doctor wanted to try before moving into the newer classes of biologic medications. Those are extremely expensive, but they also work much better to treat RA, and with fewer side effects. Health insurance will pay for these meds, but only after every other avenue of treatment has been exhausted.

I will see my doctor on April 9th. We will probably talk about other options, and if I'm lucky, I may even leave with a prescription for something new. It would be awesome to find a medication that really works. It would be great to have my energy back - I've been so tired this week that I'm falling asleep while doing my homework. It is hard to learn when you're exhausted. It is also hard to work, even at a desk job. Concentration suffers. Sitting in my office chair causes significant pain. But if the new meds work, I may be able to get back some semblance of health and vitality. I might even be able to go hiking.

My fingers are definitely crossed. So even though the report was bad, it is progress of a sort. At least, I hope so.

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