Thursday, November 3, 2011

End of the Intro and the Beginning of the Journey

Wow, its been almost a year since I last posted.  Amazing how time flies.  My pre New Year's Resolution Resolution is to update this blog once a week.

SO, my last post ended with me getting off the Methotrexate and getting PredniSONE down to 2.5mg every other day, then talking about the tics.

Ah, the tics.  The summer of 2008.  They came on slowly, so slowly that I didn't really notice them or pay attention to them as much as maybe I should have.  They were shudders.  They would come in from the right or left side of my head.  I could feel them coming on, but I couldn't do anything to stop them.  They would hit, I would shudder or spasm pretty bad real quick, let out a shudder sound like I was cold and that was it.  I never really thought anything about them.

But my wife did.  She started noticing them more and more.  To me they were a benign nuisance, just something that happened.  They didn't hurt, they didn't keep me from doing anything, they just came on from time to time and felt funny.  My wife asked me to ask the RA doc about them and he was instantly concerned.  Apparently a side effect of Enbrel is brain lesions.  GREAT...  My first thought was that my RA was turning to MS.  This is not good.

I was referred to a Neurologist.  This was a very strange visit.  All of the RA docs I had been to have very modern offices with modern equipment.  This neurologist was Old School.  His office looked like a dusty library and all he had was one of those eye things they use at the Optometrist and one of those knee hammers they use for reflexes.  He checked my reflexes and did some touch-feely stuff with my neck and then checked my eyes.  I did have a shudder at his office, which was nice, but he didn't really do anything about it.  He took some notes, didn't say much and told me he would send his findings to my RA doc.  That was a very strange visit.  Apparently he didn't see anything glaring and sent me on my way.

My RA doc calls me a couple weeks later and says he wants to see me.  Apparently the notes he got from the neurologist concerned him.  Doc recommends that I go off the Enbrel and back on the Metho, I blatantly refuse.  No way I'm going back to the Metho...My wife and I were trying for number 2!  I stop the Enbrel and go in for the tests he recommends.  I believe it was called an Arthogram MRI, where they put dye in my bloodstream via IV and then take MRIs of my brain.  I had to have 2 on 2 seperate days.

Now, I'm not claustrophobic,  but man...being put in a head cage like Hannibal Lector and stuck in a tube for 45 minutes at a time while being asked to not move was a challenge.  Keeping from freaking out in that tube was an accomplishment in itself.

I waited around for 2 weeks for the test results, and good news, no lesions.  But no answer on the shudders.

Next Post:  Figuring out the shudders.