Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Big Apple

I cannot believe it is April 10, and it is only in the 40s. What is going on? Since the temperature got colder again, I have a lot of pain in my upper joints...elbows, wrists and shoulders. I am hoping if spring ever does arrive, the pain will lessen.

Trekked into Manhattan today to see Dr. Spiera. Took the 10:30 LIRR into Penn, then Mom met me on 7th Avenue and we drove across town. My appointment was supposed to be at 12:45, but he didn't see me until 2!

Dr. Spiera couldn't believe my progress! He was extremely pleased with me overall, but still feels that my upper body and neck are weak. He was also concerned with my aldolase levels.

According to my recent bloodwork, my adolase levels are still high. The normal range is between 1.2-7.6. My level is 8.3.

Aldolase is an enzyme found throughout the body, particularly in muscles. Like all enzymes, it is needed to trigger specific chemical reactions. Aldolase helps muscle turn sugar into energy. Testing for aldolase is done to diagnose and monitor skeletal muscle diseases.

Skeletal muscle diseases increase the aldolase level found in a person's blood. Skeletal muscles are those muscles attached to bones and whose contractions make those bones move. When the muscles are diseased or damaged, like in MCTD, the cells deteriorate and break open. The contents of the cells, including aldolase, spill into the bloodstream. Measuring the amount of aldolase in the blood indicates the degree of muscle damage.

Bottom line...Dr. Spiera wants me to have at least two more treatments of Rituxan...sooner than later. Ideally, I should receive the first one in May and then again, three months later. If all goes as planned, I could go into total remission! Wouldn't that be something?

Ahhh...maybe, just maybe...I will wake up one morning and this will all have been a bad nightmare!

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