Saturday, May 17, 2014

Good news

Yesterday we headed to Albuquerque for my eye exam, prior to next week's infusion.  We got some very good news!  Every test showed improvement, and we have started the "remission" clock ticking.  What does that mean?

  • My birdshot auto-immune eye disease is at a stable point.  While we still have little vestiges of leakage from my blood vessels, it is difficult at this point to tell what is due to permanent damage, and what is not really leakage at all.   It is possible these 'shadows" will continue to improve as we continue treatment, or they may be with me forever.  But basically there is nothing active going on in either eye: no active lesions, to active leakage. Words fail me to describe the difference between the original FA imaging done in October of 2012 and the last one.  What was chaotic and blurry and misshapen blood vessels has become very clearly defined, normal-looking blood vessels. It is amazing! 
  • My sight has returned to 20/20 in my left eye, and 20/25 in my right eye- (with my glasses, of course!) and that is a huge improvement.  As a matter of fact over the last 2-3 weeks, i have noticed a substantial improvement in acuity.  Praise God! And just going through the tests was much less painful.
  • My sed rate and inflamation markers have continued to drop as of my last blood work, and I hope to  see more in next week's blood work!  I am regaining energy and feeling much better than I have in a very long time. Additionally, my night vision has improved, my contrast vision has improved, and my cataract has become less bothersome.
  • Now that I am at this "remission" point, we may still have to tinker with my medicine dosages and intervals, but basically I will stay at something like this every-day cellcept and every 8-week remicade infusion schedule for about 2 years.  If everything is still stable at that point, we will try to wean me off of my drugs and see if I can maintain the remission without them.  I recently read that about 20-25% of birdshot patients who reach remission stay there, while about 75% have one or more future flare-up. periods of remission can last anywhere from weeks to years.  And some birdshot patients never reach remission. So I am blessed. 
I am very grateful for a good doctor, a great husband with both loving support and good insurance, and an amazing God who lifts me up just when I need it the most.  Thanks, Gentle Readers, for your continued prayers and support.  

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Chris, this is such encouraging and good news! ~Jenny