I saw my new respirologist on Thursday. To say that this woman is thorough wouldn’t even come close to the truth. The first visit, she came down hard on me because she checked into my prescriptions and noted I had only renewed my inhalers once this year.
This time was quite different. My doctor went through the results of all the tests she and my GP ordered, and we discussed a few things. Then she said she was really excited because my gamma globulin was very low.
First, I don’t think I had ever heard of gamma globulin, and second, she was excited it was low? What she did say is that with it being so far below the norm, it could be causing a multitude of my problems. If we can raise it, I should feel better and may get off a lot of my asthma medications (and maybe some others as well). The best treatment for me is to give myself weekly injections of gamma globulin.
What about side-effects? Well, she said it may make my whole body ache, give me headaches, and make me extremely fatigued. Well, I have all of those all the time, so no biggy!
Now I must admit that when the doctor started rattling off a bunch of tests, I need to get such Hep 1, 2, & 3, HIV base test, etc. I was a little unnerved; however, she said that it is only to rule them out, and she does not expect them to be a factor. A couple of websites say that the compromised immune system that comes with low gamma globulin is the same as those other horrid diagnoses. But I am a firm believer that the internet is NOT always right.
The nurse contacted me on Friday to book appointments for training on how to inject myself. I could have it done by IV once a month; however, the doctor said the weekly injections are much better if I can handle them. I gave myself anticoagulants after my knee surgery so this should be similar, right?
No. By the fact I go to three training sessions (once a week) for two to three hours at a time, it is not just a simple poke in the belly. The nurse will mostly talk the first time and give me just a half dose so my body can adjust slowly. The next week we will do it together and she will answer any questions I have. Then the final week, I will do it myself.
Being the former techie that I am, I, of course, looked up gamma globulin in several medical sites to find out all the pros, cons, side effects, etc. While it is not the most common blood deficiency out there, it also isn’t the rarest. And the success rate is fairly good as well.
The doctor, nurse and research all agree that getting to a certain mid-level is the treatment goal, I will always have to be testing and managing it with more doses until it is back in line. That is no problem if it means that even if a few of my symptoms can be cured or controlled.
On top of this news, I was also told that my breathing symptoms are definitely not a sign of COPD. This is something I have been afraid of since caring for my Dad for his last four years. I had to watch him slowly deteriorate as his breathing got worse and bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis got worse.
Another condition that has been batted around with various doctors has been diabetes. My family doctor is still not convinced, even though my fasting glucose this time was just under 10. The respirologist is concerned, as was a naturopath I saw several years ago. So I have decided I as of October 15th I am going to try to go on a strict as possible diabetic diet and see if I can just manage it that way. It is Diabetes Type II so I definitely don’t need insulin and hopefully can stay away from more meds.
Yes, I am relieved to hear all of this and I am glad there is a fairly simple treatment. But I am also a little frustrated that it has taken all these years for someone to think of testing for it. It sounds like this is not a new thing for me as the symptoms have been around all my life. However, I am not going to wallow in anger. There is no point in that.
What I will do is add gamma globulin to my vocabulary and administering to my skill-set Someday soon I will hopefully be able to strike some chronic illnesses off my long list.