Monday, July 26, 2010

The Good Old Days

It's hard to believe that there was a time before the internet. A time in which your doctor would make a diagnosis, explain the treatment to you and you would proceed with very little or perhaps even no questioning. There was no Dr. Google beckoning to you at 2:00 a.m. to just search "natural killer cells and IVIG" just one more time. Oh, to have those good old days back.

Having easy access to information is both a godsend and a curse. Without such access many women would not even know that they can be tested for natural killer cell activity. However, with such access, women like me feel as though they are ever more responsible for their own medical care despite having no medical degree. That is a burden I don't enjoy.

My findings thus far are frustrating to say the least. Following what my RE told me, I have confirmed that natural killer cell activity should be no higher than 12 and a level of 18 or higher is a huge indicator of miscarriage. My level is 18. However, then I read an article which said that testing the activity in the blood doesn't mean anything since what you really need to know is how active the uterine natural killer cells are. Next, I read a book which suggested taking a liquid chlorophyll supplement in order to help move natural killer cells out of the blood and into the tissues. BUT, if what we're actually concerned about isn't how many are in my blood but how many are in my uterine tissue then wouldn't that be just the opposite of what I want?

Another mystery to me is what stance to take on auto-immune issues. One theory is that if your immune system begins to attack things it shouldn't (i.e. a baby) then the answer is to suppress the immune system. This is what IVIG, intralipids and steroids are designed to do. However, there is a competing theory that the immune system just needs to be reset somehow. Naprotechnology doctors are using low doses of a drug called naltrexone, in part, to help boost the immune system in an attempt to make conceiving easier and to prevent miscarriages. So, which should I choose, suppressing or boosting? I suppose I could try both, although in doing so, if I choose to try the wrong approach first it may cost me another baby.

Sometimes ignorance really would be bliss.

No comments: