It’s Not A Cold

But it doesn’t appear to be pneumonia, either, so that’s good.

I have bronchitis.  Confusingly though, I was given a prescription for an antibiotic.  Antibiotic are recommended for pneumonia, but not bronchitis, so I’m guessing that this is part of the “be extra careful to prevent infection” that comes with taking a biologic medication.

Even better, I got to discuss with my doctor the circumstances in which I really need to phone, versus when it’s okay to use home remedies.  It’s difficult to discuss anything when talking makes me cough, so in this case “discuss” means that I typed my little half-sheet description of what’s going on, along with my question, and I was able to keep the speaking/coughing to a minimum.

There’s a prescription cough syrup, too.  It makes me sleepy and dizzy.  The above paragraphs were written earlier, before I’d taken any of the new medicines.  Now that I’ve taken the cough syrup, I keep staring at the screen and wondering if any of this makes sense.  So I think I’m done writing, and will go get some sleep.

There’s nothing like skipping a dose of Enbrel to illustrate just how well the medication was working.

Exciting Research

Medical research – real research, not empty analysis of case studies – is exciting.  I love seeing the progress that is made as scientists learn more about what causes diseases.  Or sometimes they haven’t yet found a cause, but they’re finding clues.

Yesterday at Nostrums, Doc D discussed some recent research:

A studyin the New England Journal of Medicine (Sep 9), looks at myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). …

…the jist of the article is, “OK, we can treat MDS with a drug that kills all the bad cells to the point where they are in remission and we can’t find any of those cells.  How come some of these patients have a recurrence?” 

The simplistic answer is that the researchers found that stem cells which have a chromosomal abnormality that puts them at risk of producing ineffective MDS cells still exist in the body…

I know this is about cancer, not RA, but there are so many discoveries in the treatment of cancer that then get applied to autoimmune diseases (methotrexate can be used as a chemo drug!) that I find the potential here exciting.  Maybe, just maybe, this will eventually combine with autoimmune research and lead to a cure.