Crohn’s: Pills, Pills, Pills – Which Ones To Take?

Well, my health journey continues with mixed results. I had my appointment with my gastro doctor to talk about my latest tests, discuss treatment, and to take some more blood for additional testing. We agreed that the best way to avoid future surgery was to start some new drugs one of which is Humira, which seems to be the latest “wonder” drug, and the other being Imuran (aka Azathioprine). I can’t start the Humira until my test for Tuberculosis comes back but he thought I could start the Imuran right away.

For those who don’t know, Imuran is an immunosuppressive medicine used to treat a variety of immune diseases to reduce the activity of the specific disease which in my case is Crohn’s. There are side effects, of course, but the biggest concern is that by it’s very nature it reduces the white blood cells in your system. Well, I leave the doctor’s, go to the pharmacy and pick up my prescription and take my first pill. Then it was off for an afternoon of filming “Necroland” (I’ll eventually be listed as a cast member on ImDB!).

As I was heading home from filming the doctor calls (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving) and he tells me that I should stop taking the Imuran. He had some of the lab tests back already and apparently that on top of my vitamin D and calcium deficiency my white blood count is already very low – as if I was already taking the drug. He’s not sure what to make of this and it may be a testing error but for the time being, and to keep me from getting sick with something else, we need to be safe and keep me off the drug. We may also have to hold off on the Humira but won’t know more until the rest of the tests come back in.

The good news is that I’m feeling pretty healthy for the time being (occasional queasiness and bowel issues but nothing major since last December) and I don’t have any other symptoms for some of the horrible diseases which a low white cell count might indicate (Google, a friend and a foe at the same time). So, we’ll keep on taking test and see what develops.

Oh, and I’m anemic – due to the Crohn’s – and really need to take my iron every day which I hate. If anyone has found a brand that doesn’t upset their gastric inner workings please let me know!

On the fitness front, things could be going better but I’m staying within my calorie goals and this morning my weight is back down (last week I was up four pounds). Strength could be better but I was able to increase weights in several lifts and am feeling confident enough to move back into the free weight room with the “big boys.”

This is the last week of my fitness challenge with a couple of friends. I’m not sure how they are doing but I have high hopes that I’ll win based on my weight loss alone. I haven’t seen much improvement in my various measurements though my pants are clearly looser my sleeves aren’t getting tighter. I’ll of course let you all know how that turns out.

Onward and forward!

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