Monday, February 15, 2016

January 2016 update

I have a bit of catching up to do as I have 2 visits to report on and I realized that I never hit "Publish" to push the March 2015 update to the web site. It's the post just below this one if you scroll down.

After my visit last September I didn’t follow up with an update and I had another visit in January I’m just getting around to reporting on. Beginning last June (2015) I started to feel some pain in my elbow but pain always comes and goes but after a couple of weeks, the pain in one elbow started turned to some serious tightening in my arms. It was very tight when I fully straightened my arms and when I did I had little movement in my wrists from how tight things were. It continued to get tight until about the time I had my visit to Johns Hopkins in September but doesn’t seem to have changed much since then. Everything else with me seems about the same as it has been for a while.

We had a very mild winter with the air conditioning blowing on Christmas Eve. Just one large snow storm so far with mostly seasonable or mild temps. My body appreciates the mild weather so no complaints here. 

At my visit last month to Johns Hopkins, it looks like things have stabilized. During the exam, though there’s still some redness in the tight areas from the flare up starting last June, Dr Wigley feels things aren't getting any worse. They took blood like they normally do and I volunteered for an international research project where they took a skin biopsy to compare patients with scleroderma as well as patients without the disease. 

In November I had a lung test (PFT) and a heart test (echo cardiogram). The heart test was normal but I knew the lung test wasn’t as good as it has been. I didn’t feel well for a couple weeks before and after the test and it showed in the results. I knew it while I was taking the test and told my wife that I’m sure the results weren’t Very good. I feel fine now and the Dr wants me to have another test to confirm things are more normal. 

I have another check-up in Baltimore towards the end of April. We’ll check on a new lung test and hopefully see that the disease has quieted down again and I can go back to dealing with the typical aches and pains of someone over 50.  I’ll try and not skip an update again and sorry for not following up sooner.

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