Thursday, April 12, 2012

Putting up some big numbers

Never let it be said that I am an underachiever.  I have been in a "study" of sorts since I was diagnosed.  Every other year or so, Seracare Life Sciences ask me to donate blood and they check my Rheumatoid Factor.  I am assuming it is to monitor how my treatment is affecting me.

Now- I have found several different sets of numbers that indicate what a "normal" Rheumatoid Factor should be.  To make it easy and sum it up, let's go with less than 100.  Four years ago, when I began with my current Rheumatologist, I came in at 1284!  Yay me!  Yeah right.  Back in March, Seracare contacted me for my blood donation.  A few weeks later they called me and asked if I would be willing to donate plasma for further studies.  In the, gracious, 7 years that we have been doing this, they have never asked for this so my antenna was pinging.  I asked my "rep" (I think that's what she's called-lol) if she knew what my results were.  Are you sitting down?  Because I am glad that I was.  My Rheumatoid Factor is currently at:


After 7 years, after most of the DMARDS and after a host of biologics, my numbers are through the roof.    So, next weekend, hubby and I are driving to Eastern Tennessee so I can go to one of their centers and will donate on Friday night and again on Sunday morning.  Seracare is taking care of the hotel for us, they are paying for my meals and mileage and a stipend for my time.  It won't get me any personal answers; but if they can use it to do further research and maybe find answers as a whole- it will be well worth it for the community at large.  

As for me?  My Rheumatologist knows about the test results.  She has okayed the donations and from here I guess we will press on and keep trying to treat this lovely disease.   


abcsofra said...

Well, I am glad I am not alone in those numbers. Mine have always and I mean always been through the roof ready....I stopped all the meds except pregnisone. Now I was fighting thyroid cancer back then and wonder if raised numbers can mean other things...don't panic...I don't mean cancer but maybe just other things. My numbers are still high but since I am only on pregnisone I haven't had a blood draw in over 1 1/2 years. Don't ask me why. My doctor's office just keep refilling my scripts and that is fine by me. He and I don't see eye to eye at all. And bad me, I haven't found another ra doc...yet anyway. What is your ESR or CRP? I hope that this research center is getting all the numbers. I think inflammation numbers might concern me a little more because more is currently known about those numbers. And to me, this just goes to show, no one really knows about these diseases in their totality. Nope....not at all.

Julie Faulds said...

My CRP is elevated as well, not as much in February as it was last fall- but still elevated. They may not have wanted to tell me that though- because when I see her in May, we will be having a frank discussion. See- last fall I had been on Orencia for over a year. In February I had been off it for 3 months.....I will be talking to her about THAT correlation!

Susan said...

I had a bad experience with donating blood, the stress on my body threw me into a big flare.

So, just be sure to take extra good care of yourself before and after you donate the plasma.

We are all rooting for you! Thanks for doing this for all of us.

Julie Faulds said...

Thanks Susan! Before they decided I was "banned for life" from donating blood (because I lived overseas from 78-80 and again 86-88- yes I am STILL bitter!)back in 2009, I donated at every blood drive. It made me super tired but other than that I was okay. I am hoping it will work out the same. That said, I was just looking at the weather for Saturday in that section of TN and it looks like it will rain- so though we had planned on taking the pups to the state forest- it looks like I will be resting instead. Plus- we are taking hubby's truck instead of my Soul, so I will NOT be driving home-lol. ;-)