Monday, August 19, 2013

Medical Science

I'm pretty frustrated with the state of medical science in relation to Vasculitis. There is a girl out there, fighting for her life right now in an ICU because her doctors did not know enough about the protocol for treating Vasculitis that they put her in a coma.

Imuran wasn't working so they switched her to methotrexate which she was only on for 6 weeks before they decided to take her off and give her Mercaptopurine. This form of chemo is not even approved for treatment of Vasculitis, unlike Rituxan which is the most obvious choice and the current go to drug for ANCA assoiciated Vasculitis. 

Now, the big warning on Mercaptopurine is this
 "Mercaptopurine is a potent drug. It should not be used unless a diagnosis of acute lymphatic leukemia has been adequately established and the responsible physician is experienced with the risks of Mercaptopurine and knowledgeable in assessing response to chemotherapy." ( 

Because they didn't even apparently know about Rituxan I am pretty sure that her doctors were not knowledgeable about any form of chemotherapy. 

This is why education and awareness is so important.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Random Health Advice From a Booth at the Farmer's Market

This is kind of a funny story, if only because it's become such a common experience for me that it's sad.

On Saturday, my mom, grandmother, and I decided to wander around the local Farmer's Market just to scout out the local goods. Besides all of the usual home baked goods, hand crafted items, and vegetables there was a booth advertising free nerve scans. I was kind of curious so as my mom and grandmother looked at the booth next door which had some really amazing handmade jewelry I would have myself a nerve scan.

To start off, the had me fill in a paper with lists of ailments that you were supposed to circle if you had them. I had all of them, as expected for someone with a systemic autoimmune disorder. Wherein the lady running the booth told me that she just wouldn't live with all those problems. I told her, I don't either. That's what I see doctors for and what I take medications for, duh.

They asked me what exactly it is that I have and I told them Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now, I'm used to the very blank stares that this disease gets, but for this lady her blank stare was immediately followed by a determined look because she figured that what she was promoting could absolutely cure me.

She put the wand up to my neck and began the scan, which, as I expected, lit up like some demented form of Christmas Tree. You know, when you don't have decent veins things get kind of starved for essentials. After looking at the scan the lady then starts spouting off about how they can do back adjustments to fix all of my problems because pinched nerves were probably what was causing the Wegener's. All I could think was, did you miss the part where I said it was an autoimmune disorder, you know, kind of like Lupus. You're back adjustment is not going to cure something that has a genetic component. She wanted me to go in to her clinic and get X-rays and all sorts of weird stuff.

I never even saw a sign on her booth advertising her as a chiropractor or anything of the sort. I politely told her that I would have to think about it, even though I have no plans to call her back or answer the phone if she calls me.

Sadly, this is a common occurrence when you have a chronic illness. Everyone seems to think they can "cure" you and they tend to ignore the whole part about it being a CHRONIC illness. I'm not against alternative methods, but if you choose to look into them, you really need to have a critical eye. Be wary of the people that claim to have a cure; more than likely they do not and are just trying to get money from you. They probably don't care that they could potentially be causing you damage or even killing you. If you have a doctor that you trust, which is an absolute must, bring anything you want to try in regards to your health up with them.