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Healthcare X-Files = "Immune System Dysfunction"
from Cindy

I have just found you on the web. I am also a sufferer of P and PA. I am having a very bad time right now, very depressed. I laughed at some of your stories. It helped. I am off to the derm next week—I think I may ask her about MTX [Methotrexate], but I guess I will have to let the rheumatologist know if I start to take it. Don't you get tired of doctors? I am also tired of the creams, lotions, etc. Sliding into and out of bed is a real pleasure isn't it? I am tired of itching, scratching and FLAKING! I have had this wonderful disease for the past 9 years. It came on just after I had a hysterectomy. In addition to P, I have thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, etc. etc. I wonder if they are all connected? Well, I am sorry to have gone on and on. I'm sure you must get lots and lots of emails. Thanks for listening, and keep writing! You have a great sense of humor. I wish I could get to that point. Thanks, -Cindy


Ed's Response: It was the simultaneous worsening of both my P and PA that prompted my derm and my rheumy to separately recommend Methotrexate. The PA had gotten to the debilitating level—days when I couldn't walk or drive—and I think this "notched up" the drs' concern to the point where they felt warranted to open the MTX subject again. Remember, I'd said for years I would never take Methotrexate. Because at about the same time I'd also heard the pro-MTX testimonials on the NPF 30th Anniversary conference videotapes, I caved in. The drs were surprised, I think. Now I'm on MTX and, for the time being at least, I'm glad.

There's quite a bit of information on WebMD.com about and fibromyalgia. Here's a taste:

Fibromyalgia is not a form of arthritis but a medical condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness (soreness to the touch) at specific body sites. Also common are muscular stiffness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Although fibromyalgia has been medically recognized for many years, it was only in 1990 that medical specialists agreed on the signs and symptoms that must be present to make the diagnosis. Go to source

If I were you, I'd wonder if all my ailments were related, too. Not surprisingly, that old sticky allusion to the *immune system* crops up in the fibromyalgia literature (and it's related disease, chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome [CFIDS]). I call it a "sticky allusion," because so much of what institutional medicine can't explain get's attributed to, or associated with, or stuck beside *immune system dysfunction* in what I read. When I'm feeling particularly disgusted with the medical institution's inability to fix me, I think the expression "immune system dysfunction" is just a code name for the healthcare X-Files. P in all its forms is also called an immune system dysfunction. Perhaps we all should take pride in the fact that we remain too complicated to be figured out. You might have my rhinitis (runny nose) pigeonholed, doc, but what do you really know about my immune system dysfunction?

Hang in there Cindy. You're among friends here. -Ed

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