Finding out blood test results is always a rollercoaster experience, they are so unpredictable. Last time I had a chance to see my results the ESR (Erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and C-reactive protein (inflammatory markers in the blood) were within normal levels. This time, the ESR was slightly elevated at 8 – (normal range is 1-7) and CRP was ok at 1.0 (normal range is 0-5.0). My Vitamin D is now back to normal levels but I’m continuing to take 1,000 International Units a day. That’s some good news, at least.
Other results that I’m not so happy about:
Lymphocytes – LOW – 1.16 ( normal range: 1.2 and 3.65)
Thyroid stimulating hormone – HIGH – 5.56 rather than 0.27-4.20.
I have no idea what this means so will need to talk to the doctor and rheumatologist about it. Now that I have bone erosions in my hands and wrists, the rheumy wants me to try Sulphasalazine (I’ve already tried Plaquenil and Methotrexate, with terrible side effects). But the next appointment isn’t til September as I’ve got to have an MRI scan for the Neurology team. (They’re still investigating why I’m numb on the right hand side and keep getting migraines).
So, the old-fashioned treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is the next step while waiting to have the MRI test and the result. In other words, hand therapy. Does this mean a splint for my hands, exercises etc? Will be interested to find out. On the other hand, my doctor said that they won’t be able to refer me to the hospital for integrated medicine which is frustrating – and it means going there privately. Seems unfair that there’s a health lottery in London depending on your postcode. I know that scientifically there isn’t much evidence for homeopathy, acupuncture etc being beneficial for arthritis but I’d love to try them.