Annual Lab Results + Roadtrip
Recently a friend of mine asked me how my lupus symptoms were going, and I was happy to say that I’d just received great news from my rheumatologist and was very pleased. And so my friend asked me why I hadn’t written about this positive turn of events? People might actually like to hear it, she ventured.
I had no good excuses, so here goes…
Every year I undergo a series of lab tests–blood and urine–that check for various indicators of my disease’s activity levels. I’ve had these tests done three times in their entirety since being diagnosed with lupus. When I first had the tests done, my numbers were all off in the extreme: Clearly, my body was P-I-ssed. I was prescribed Plaquenil and began taking it twice a day. One year later, I had the same lab tests performed. The results were only slightly better–certainly not the miraculous cure I’d been hoping for. And the way I was feeling matched those luke-warm results. To be fair to Plaquenil, I’d been working at a fast-paced job that required working on my feet all day. So I suppose my mediocre results were the best I could hope for.
Another year later, and working at an office with considerably less physical stress on my body, I walked into my doctor’s office feeling good. No arthritis, no fatigue, and really just feeling happy to be alive and well after having recuperated from shingles. My rheumatologist brought up my lab results on his computer, took a few minutes to review them, and swiveled around to face me on his black and chrome doctor’s stool.
He was smiling. All of my levels were normal. He said, You’re the poster child for Plaquenil. I was the perfect example of the drug doing what it was supposed to do.
My recent run-in with shingles just a week prior? Hmmm…well, he said the two weren’t really connected. I don’t know if I’m totally in agreement with him on that one. But I can say without a doubt that I can’t remember feeling this good since before I began experiencing symptoms of lupus.
So in celebration, my husband and I are driving to a little town about twenty minutes east of Reno today. There’s a storm a-brewin’, but I can’t wait to play in the snow and see an old friend from college. This is just what I need to celebrate feeling well. A roadside diner will probably seal the deal. Roadtrip!