Saturday, February 20, 2016

I love you my T cells, my death angels!

I have been suffering from various auto immune disorders for many years.The trouble with auto immune disorders is that apart from the pain and suffering of the disease the treatments themselves cause more suffering. One wonders whether to get treated or just let the disease take its toll.

Considering the population, there are very few rheumatologists in the country. Then there are those who are MDs in other fields but add Rheumatologist to their qualifications. The worst part is once you start the treatment which is often with steroids, there is no going back, no way of confirming if the dicision was a wise one or was there another choice, all tests will prove false after you start the treatment.

Take the case of Giant Cell Arteritis. It is so painful that your head is on the verge of exploding, you are literally pulling your hair out, want to bang your head on the wall, press the offending temporal artery tight with your aching hand. Your vision is blurred, your eyes tired and in pain, you can increase the font size and try and glean some knowledge out of the net. But are you in a fit state to understand much?

You find a Rheumatologist who might or might not be an an MD in the field. You think this time you are in a city unlike the last time, so you are not going to have any doubts about being  misdiagnosed. But the friendly doctor does not so much as palpitate the offending artery. He gives the verdict, 'Temporal Arteritis' that is the other name for dear old G C A, but he does not write the diagnosis on your prescription. Can you protest and ask to go for tests? He is so sure and frankly, you too are due to the text book symptoms. You are half dead with pain, he offers you the relief of the steroid injection and the daily dose of steroids to follow.

You know, your goose is cooked. You will no longer be the same person. You have fought 11 years to regain your lost self of 47kg which had become 70 Kgs and you were almost half way through. Now this? You know your stomach will become a bottomless pit demanding more food. Even if you fill it with oilfree, sugarfree, low cal stuff, still you would bloat. You would dream of eating cellulose, thermocol so that you don't gain weight.

What are you going to do? You go for the injection, the drip and the chance to stop that throbbing on your head. The doctor does not enlighten you, does not explain the consequences or the choices if any that you can make. You went to him because you are under a combined attack of viruses, allergies, possible bacterial infection and ofcourse your own little immune system and its T cells. Apart from a pain crazed head you have a fever, a runny nose that uses two packs of tissues a day, a sore throat that does not allow you to even swallow your own saliva. You surely are in no position to refuse the cure that he is offering. You accept the quick cure. In a few hours your head is not throbbing,but you know this is your last day as you, at least in the physical sense. What do you do?

Stay up the night like me and wait to bloat till you can't recognise yourself, wait for your osteoporosis to worsen, be open to easy infections.

Uff, Ghughuti, you sure are doomed. Doomed, if you take the medicines and doubly doomed if you don,t. Forget the pain, not taking steroids may cost you your vision or you may have a stroke.
I love you my T cells, for not differenciating between me, my own body, its cells and intruders. You were meant to protect me and not attack me, my joints, tissues and blood vessels, silly you!

Mired Mirage