So this blog post will be about my medical issues. So if you are here to read about farming I would suggest you skip this post and resume tomorrow when I should have a post about new piglets.
My diagnosis is HLA-B27 positive reactive arthritis. This means I am of a genetic type that is prone to abnormal inflammatory responses. I was then triggered by my Norovirus gastroenteritis infection at the beginning of February. This caused a severe and abnormal immune reaction which makes me feel like I have a disease like influenza but also causes inflammation in large joints of the body and tendons. It will likely keep flaring up, but the rheumatologist could not predict how long. I am back on prednisone now as I had another flare up this afternoon (the worst yet), and I will likely need another medicine to suppress my immune system, sulfasalazine. If this doesn’t work the next step is methotrexate, and there are more option if that doesn’t work. Whichever medication works for me I will need to be on it long-term to try to keep this under control. This abnormal inflammatory response is usually not permanent.
But one scary aspect is being on these types of medication during this pandemic. There are concerns that you may be more susceptible to it and have a more severe illness on these medications. My other concern is getting another diarrheal illness which may trigger my abnormal immune system further. But at least I have my diagnosis and am getting used to the idea. And I have some idea what to expect. It is not life-threatening. But I was correct that I have a chronic illness and will have to learn to adapt to it.