Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mileage & Medical Report

Mileage & Medical Report
Nov 7/10



Mileage report:

I just logged 76 (running) miles this past week.
So even though I missed quite a few weeks and miles this past year due to some ‘wee’ health issues I still managed to pass 2,000 miles (2036) for the year. I submit this report mainly to inform my good friend Dr D. that I do not intend to lie down and simply concede the annual mileage title to him for a second year in a row! Nope! He will have to work hard to retain his title!

Clearly I cannot maintain this weekly level of mileage w/o injury so it appears that I will not reach my normal annual average mileage of 2500 miles for a second year in a row! Is this a sign of OLD AGE? If so I do not want any part of it!

It looks like (once again) all I can hope is that next year brings back my normal mileage – and a normal life!



Medical Report:

The long and frustrating struggle for recovery continues.

After a multitude of additional medical test and results, including a re-scope of both ends of the GI tract, the docs have concluded that there are no additional or hidden issues/bacteria/diseases. It has been
re-confirmed for the third time that my illness is simply a case of ‘severe’ Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Wish it were that ‘simple’.

We have tried many of the regular drugs and combinations of drugs normally used to control this nasty disease. We have tried many significant lifestyle changes including - NO travel – NO marathons/races – NO running/exercise and a very restricted diet. And I mean ‘restricted’! The ‘Low Residue Diet’ eliminated most of my favorite food groups. NO fried food – NO snack food – very limited fruits and veggies and – NO alcohol or caffeine! In other words “Anything that tastes good”!

Alas! None of these treatments and/or lifestyle changes provided any significant effect or improvement in the symptoms and failed to force the UC into remission!
The first ray of hope occurred two weeks ago when we began flushing cortisone liquid directly into the colon. This treatment provided some immediate relief and improvement in my symptoms. The stomach cramps and diarrhea diminished and the leg/foot pains diminished and then disappeared one week later. I am now able to run 10 to 15 miles w/o walking and can even make it (thankfully) between public toilets along my routes for major pit stops. However I still have to carry a packet of toilet paper for emergency situations! The Sports Manager and I are able to play golf again and (with the consent of my doc) I am ignoring the “NO booze” and a few other items on that restricted diet! Thus my “Quality of Life” is improving.

But alas again! Even the cortisone treatment combined with the regular drugs and lifestyle changes have not been successful in forcing the UC into remission. We are not satisfied with the progress and current level of symptoms so we have moved up to the highest level of drugs and treatment.

I received my first infusion of Remicade this past week. Remicade is a biologic drug/therapy that recognizes, attaches to, and blocks the action of a protein called tumor necrosis alpha (TNF –alpha) that is made by certain blood cells in the body. TNF can cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues in the body and cause inflammation and damage (e.g. UC)!

Remicade is reputed to be a ‘miracle ‘drug. But it is very expensive – and it can cause some nasty side effects!
The docs tell me that it normally takes a second infusion (in 2 weeks) to notice any significant changes or improvements in the symptoms and disease. That is followed by a third infusion at week #6 and then maintenance treatments every 8 weeks for a period of 2 years to control the disease.

Since Remicade is the final ’silver bullet’ in the arsenal I must remain hopeful and optimistic that it will work for me?

Maybe I can start racing again in Dec?

Stay tuned!

2 comments:

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