Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Labs, Biopsy Results and a Partridge in a Pear Tree


Here we are in December, and 6 weeks out from my last lab work.  I’ll cut right to the chase.

12/4/14 Lab Work
The liver enzymes and CK have returned to normal.  The LDH is mildly elevated; it was normal in October and 659 in July.

ALT – SGPT (8-45 IU/L)  = 25
AST – SGOT (2-40 IU/L)  = 26
CK (29-168 IU/L)           = 67
Aldolase (<7.7 U/L)       = 3.3
LD Total (125-220 IU/L) = 356 (H)

In mid-November, I saw my Dermatologist about my skin.  She took a few scrapes as well as a biopsy of the skin on my decollete.  Only a few stitches, no big deal.  The results came back as steroid-induced acne, which is a bitch.  It is a rash of tiny bumps that sting and hurt, and don’t go away.  

I’m on a new lotion called Clindamycin, which is an antibiotic.  I’m also on another month of twice-daily horse-pill antibiotics.  I’m praying that this finally does the trick, as I’m truly worn out dealing with it.  It does seem to be helping so far, but time will tell. Thank goodness it’s scarf season… although it’s creeping its way up my neck and jawline, so I may need to invest in a nice paper bag at some point.

Since Dermatomyositis and my related medications seem to be making my already delicate skin hyper sensitive, I am having skincare allergy testing done in the New Year.  Hoping that can shed some light on any particular ingredients that may be aggravating my condition.

It’s been a tough couple of months.  The initial fatigue that I felt in October has progressed to extreme weakness in my upper arms and legs.  I have really been struggling with the day to day activities.  I’m working on a new graph, but I think that this has been a trend, that I feel worse in the aftermath of my numbers spiking.  I’m guessing that my Fibro kicks into high gear, and I also think that the LD inflammatory marker may carry much more weight than we originally thought.  This may be our marker to watch.  I’m really looking forward to talking to my Rheumatologist at my next appointment.

We’ll have to see how I feel after the holidays, and if my labs hold before we can continue our conversation about Maybe Baby.  I am starting to feel a little panicked after feeling so awful lately.  I struggle with fears that I’ll never be in a position to be off of my medication for over a year.  We have been referred to a specialist who works with high risk pregnancies and moms with medical conditions.

I am so grateful to spend this holiday season with my darling little family.  We have already enjoyed some truly special time with our extended family and dear friends.  I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life… pups and kitties, too! 

No matter what struggles we face, there is joy and just so much to be thankful for each and every day.  A grateful life is lived by choice and with intent.  It doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to feel sad, or get upset, but that I remember to return to a place of peace and gratefulness each day.  This isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it… all the best things are!

Thank you for your continued support and love.  Wishing you and yours peace, health and happiness this holiday season and in the New Year!

P.S.  I recently helped Ben’s Friends by making a video to thank our donors!  
It’s my big-screen debut … and I wouldn’t mind it being the last, but I’m so glad to help out an organization that has meant so much to me!  

If you would like to donate to Ben’s Friends Patient Communities, click here!