Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This Just In ...

I swear, sometimes I think I must have slipped through the looking glass because nothing really makes sense anymore. And technically, it's been almost forever since my health did make sense to me.

So, I was at the internist again last week. (And lucky me, I get to go again tomorrow! More on that later.)

We did a bunch of blood tests again, some of the usual suspects as well as some new ones that I'd read about it O, The Oprah Magazine, such as checking my vitamin D levels. Apparently Vitamin D deficiencies can cause fatigue and joint pain.

Anyway, I spoke to my internist today because I've had this weird fever for four days now, although I'm mostly controlling it with ibuprofin. So she gave me my test results while we were on the phone.

I might have the details slightly confused because I took notes but I don't have the printed copies of official results.

Most things were normal. I was happy to hear I don't have Hepatitis C since I've always wondered about the weird liver infection I had when I was 19 that kept me in bed all summer. (And no, I wasn't doing injected drugs nor having indiscriminate sex, particularly with IV drug users. But I could swear someone told me the diagnosis was hepatitis non-A, non-B, and that was in the days before they could test for Hep C, so I figured it's a good thing to rule out.

The parvo results perplex me. As I understand it, IgM levels refer to an acute infection. When I was first tested, they were a high positive. (I used to have the numbers, but they're not handy. If you dig back far enough in my blog, you might find them.) They were normal when I was retested, I think in February. And last week, they were 0.33, well into the "normal" range, which goes up to 1.8. (Don't ask me what the measurement is. I haven't a clue.)

IgG levels refer to antibodies. When I was first tested, they were negative, meaning not at all measurable. When I was tested the second time, they were high positive. My rheumatologist thought that was a good indication that I'd had acute parvovirus but was over it and should soon be feeling better. Last week, my IgG levels were again negative, not measurable.

Shouldn't I have some lingering antibodies to an illness like that, which you're supposed to gain some immunity to? Or is it like how some people get chicken pox as children and then again as adults because they apparently didn't build up enough immunity?

Weird. I see the rheumy next week, so we'll see what his current theory is. Especially combined with my recent development of a knee problem that I thought was an injury but when I went to physical therapy last week, he thought my left knee was swollen compared to my right and that it acted like an arthritis type problem.

Anyway, the vitamin D test results were interesting too. Mine were at 14, while the bottom of normal range is 30. So the plan is I'm going to take a once-a-week mega-dose of vitamin D for I'm not sure how long, and then I need to take regular vitamin D supplements forever. I think. The weird thing is I already was taking Vitamin D supplements. Sigh.

My internist says that while a Vitamin D deficiency can absolutely cause at least some of my symptoms (fatigue, joint pain), that I shouldn't get my hopes up too much because she's had patients with numbers like mine who had no symptoms whatsoever. (I wonder why they tested it then ... )

I also wonder whether the Vitamin D deficiency is a side effect of my being ill for a year and mostly stuck inside. Since I'm extra sun sensitive these days, the rare times I am going to be outside, I try hard to wear sunscreen and to be covered up.

I'm also wondering if I no longer have acute parvo, and I don't even have measurable parvo antibodies, does that mean the parvovirus theory was wrong all along?? Does that mean the rheumy's other theory -- lupus -- is the right one after all?

Lots of questions. Few answers. Stay tuned for new developments.

Oh, and I'm betting that the fever is from a urinary tract infection, although I don't really have the proper symptoms for that either, but I rarely do when I get them.

1 comment:

Joan said...

Viatmin D...

Did you have your bone density checked? Calicium?

I suspect that many of the drugs you have been on - especially this last year - have a leaching effect on your bones and may interfere with Vitamin D metabolism process.

Sunline is a *source* of Vitamin D. It won't cause you to be more sun sensitive. It's one way to get Vitamin D into your system. It makes sense that you've not been getting quite enough.

I'll have to ask of Vitamin D absorption is affected by Ca+ intake, but I suspect they are needed in equal measure. I know this is true with Ca+. It needs Vitamin D to be useful.

As for the antibodies, they will be present when you are making them to fight something and gone when there is nothing there to fight.

For example, when people suspect they have celiac disease, the first thing we tell them is NOT to change their diet, even though they're miserable. Why? Because the blood test will come back normal if they remove the offending substance, gluten. If they keep eating gluten, and have celiac disease, then when we test for it, the antibiodies are high. It's also how we measure how well a person is doing on the diet...

does that make sense?