light at the end of the tunnel

At long last I feel confident I am turning the flare-up around and heading in the right direction.

My CPK continues to fall, although not dropping as rapidly as I want. Finally I am having a good week in terms of strength improvement and I am not experiencing a lot of pain. Earlier this month I was having a lot of up and down days. My hips and lower back were aching quite a bit in the afternoon and quadriceps and hands would be throbbing at night-time.

I went back to work at the start of the month and that is going well. The first few weeks I would be sore towards the end of the day, but not so much lately. I am happy to say the mental fog has started to lift and I feel back to my normal self.

My major problem right now is fatigue. I crash hard at about 8 PM every evening. It is very frustrating as I can never get anything done. Now that I am back at work I find I have even less time to achieve anything.

Since it has been 5 months since I last did Rituxan, my Rheumatologist ordered me a new round of 4 infusions which I started this week. Thankfully my Health Insurance approved it without much battle. I had something called QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test in advance. The QFT-GIT is a whole-blood test for use as an aid in diagnosing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, including latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and tuberculosis (TB) disease. Yes, I am as confused as you are as to what this means! I have had TB tests done before where part of my arm is tested for a TB reaction. Also I have had a Hepatitis blood panel earlier this year which my insurance wanted done before I started any infusion.

I am trying to get a bone density test scheduled now that I am back on prednisone. While on Rituxan my rheumatologist wants me to hold steady on 20 mg prednisone daily. I have started calcium supplements to combat potential bone loss from the drug. Instead of Bone Up which we blogged about previously, I went with VitaFusion Calcium and Vitamin D3 Gummies. I already take Omega-3 supplements on recommendation of my ophthalmologist and did not want to take any further gigantean pills for calcium. I opted for the gummies instead. One problem with calcium supplements is the risk of kidney stones. I have had those before and it is not a very pleasant experience. You can read here how to minimize getting them by clicking here.

Now that I am on the road to recovery I need to get serious about physio. My legs get enough exercise during the day, my arms, hips and core do not. I have lots of notes on exercising these parts and have the equipment from doing physio after my initial onset of DM in 2007. Let’s see how much of an effort I can make this week.

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