Dear Santa

There have been many times that my Christmas list ran into multiple pages.  Forgive my past greediness.  This year,  I want only one present.

Please bring me my very-own-personal medical researcher.  I understand that scientists are in short supply this season, but this is what I truly want – someone who would research those medical puzzles that I find so intriguing.

There are so many people with RA symptoms whose inflammatory markers are normal.  How can someone’s hands be swollen and red, yet have an ESR of only one (1)?!  I will put my medical researcher to work on discovering a new test that documents/quantifies this phenomenon.

I’m told that I don’t carry “the” gene that predisposes people to RA.  What if there’s more than one and I carry one that hasn’t yet been found?  You see, Santa, I have a cousin with RA, and another cousin with some mighty familiar-sounding symptoms that haven’t been diagnosed.  Going back generations – my great-grandparents’ generation (I couldn’t get health history further back than that) – there is RA in the family.

Ancestry is a curiosity, Santa, but from a pragmatic standpoint, I can’t do a whole lot about the past.  I’d sure like a shot at bending the curve on the future, though.  Genes might hold a key.  You see, I have a daughter who has Raynauds.  She exhibits the same overwhelming, inexplicable fatigue that my RA started out with.  She also experiences occasional bilateral joint pain; she is afraid that she is going to get RA, too.  And she hides it from me so that I won’t worry about her, but sometimes one of the other kids rats her out.  When that happens, I make her take ibuprofen; it helps, and I’m not sure whether or not that’s good.

It breaks my heart to see her hurting and afraid of her future.  So please, Santa, for Christmas this year I would like a medical researcher to solve the riddles surrounding autoimmune diseases and find a cure.

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2 thoughts on “Dear Santa

  1. Since I was diagnosed before the genetic test was commonly used, I’ve never had it. I have often wondered if there is a genetic component to my RA, although I only have one aunt with RA and no other family members that I know of.

    What they have found with my family’s HCM is that, while we do not have the common gene mutation, we all have the SAME new mutation, which was not been recorded before. I imagine similar cases could occur with RA.

    I agree, though. A personal medical researcher would be wonderful! I have so many questions, and such busy doctors.

  2. Socks:
    Please keep us posted on what you decide to do about a biologic. Haven taken Humira, Simponi, and Enbrel, I’m very happy with Enbrel — even though it’s only been one week (and even if it does come from Chinese hamster ovaries). I’m due for my second shot this evening, and I honestly feel better now than I ever did on my best days on Humira. Plus I like the fact that it’s been around for a while, so side effects would be showing up by now.

    When I started on biologics, I had to take the flu shot and a pneumonia shot and just recently got my H1N1. And it’s true, no live vaccines because biologics depress your immune system. You have to get off of them for 30 days if you have surgery and my dentist has me pre-medicate before I get my teeth cleaned (although I also have artificial joints, which is also an indication).

    I haven’t noticed any difference except for how much better I feel. Good luck.

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