Friday, February 18, 2011

Please watch.


Many people with HCV acquire an auto-immune condition called Essential Mixed Cryoglobulinemia. Now that's a mouthful, but for those who are health care professionals - we all know conditions that sound even more intimidating (ITP, the Cranial nerves and how to check each one, and my all time favorite: disseminated introvascular coagulopathy, or DIC for short). Cryoglobulinemia is defined as the presence of abnormal antibodies called cryoglobulins in the blood; the condition may lead to kidney damage, failure, and a variety of other symptoms. There are three types, and the "mixed" type is common in people with long-term HCV.

A famous rock star (who shall be left unnamed, but he comes from nearby town and visits here in the summer - my daughter met him, has a pic with him and asked him to write me a letter, which he did and it was very very sweet) has Hep C and has recently come down with kidney failure. It's postponed an album that was supposed to debut last October and is greatly anticipated. This band has won numerous Grammy Awards. My suspicion has been that he is suffering the condition I'm describing in this blog. I've actually seen this band in concert and they are a favorite of our family, so this makes me sad.

Well, I think I, too am beginning to exhibit symptoms of this condition. According to the NIH, the symptoms are:
I put an asterisk beside the symptoms I'm experiencing. Another sign is an enlarged spleen, which I have had for quite some time now. It is not a fatal illness, but can cause complete kidney failure and dialysis. Not many treatments are available to me because one must first treat the underlying condition (HCV) which has not worked for me. So, I'm left with these options: avoiding the cold and plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis is a procedure in which blood plasma is removed from the circulation and replaced by fluid, protein, or donated plasma (NIH).

I think it's time to see my doctor. I've had one of the worst weeks of my life health-wise. I had a significant emotional event, which causes my illness to flare and my illness flaring causes me to have difficulty dealing with emotional events. Vicious cycle.
I'll keep you posted.