Thursday, December 27, 2012

Is it the IMURAN or ME?

It's been six weeks now on Imuran.  I just took one of those Prometheus* tests the other day to test my levels.  The blood is collected and then sent on a plane to San Diego, the only testing facility in the United States for this kind of test.  I wonder how much that costs?  Thankfully, I've good insurance.  I can't imagine what it must be like to have Crohn's and lacking insurance.

I am feeling pretty good, all things considered.  I haven't gotten sick yet on Imuran (knock on wood).  Imuran is a powerful immunosuppressant and sickness is quite common while on the drug.  Infections can be dangerous. Luckily, I don't have any plane travel for the next few months.

Two things, though, have changed in the last few weeks.  Is this from the Imuran?  Is it me?  Or a combination of the two?

1). Extreme fatigue.  This is a common side effect of Imuran.  When I say fatigue, I don't mean that I feel a little tired.  This is a "gotta-close-my-eyes-or-fall-down" tired. And it hits really fast.  The other day I was driving home from work and found myself nodding off.  I actually fell asleep at a light. I realized that I could not drive and pulled over into a parking lot of a closed store and slept for a half hour. Coffee doesn't help.  It usually hits in the mid to late afternoon. Hard. Been taking more naps lately.

Now, I know I can probably counter this a bit by getting my metabolism up through exercise.  My plan this break is to start taking long walks or jogs on the treadmill.  Hopefully, that will help.  Plus, as my body adjusts to the Imuran this is something that could go away.  Or get worse.  One thing is for sure:  this holiday break has not made it easy as I have been indulging in all of the holiday sweets around the house.  That alone can put one into a food coma; the Imuran just speeds it along.

2) Food Aversion.  This is the weird one.  I used to love pasta.  All kinds of pasta: pasta with marinara, pasta with pesto, angel hair, ziti, name it.  Loved pasta.  Until a few weeks ago, that is.  It was about a month ago and the smell of some simmering marinara hit me as I walked in from work.  Nothing beats that smell of tomatoes and basil.  At least, that's how I used to feel.  This time, the smell was not pleasurable.  And, I had a hard time chewing the pasta.  And swallowing the pasta.  The taste and texture was hard to overcome.

The other day, Cheryl made ravioli with a pesto sauce.  Again, something that I used to love.  This time...couldn't eat it at all.  It smelled good.  I think it probably tasted good as well.  But I couldn't get through but a couple of bites.

On the other hand, I had some lasagna about a week ago and no problems there.  The only difference was that the sauce contained meat...but essentially, it was pasta.  But not the reaction I had to just plain pasta and sauce.  Very strange.  I am curious if this is common with other Imuran users.

Anyone taking Imuran have any similar experiences?  Or different?   Share below.

*Prometheus is a proprietary testing service, owned, incidentally, by Nestle.  Yes, the same multi-national corporation that makes Swiss Miss instant cocoa.  They just recently won a lawsuit against the Mayo Clinic for patent infringement.  They currently have a monopoly on this technology related to diagnostic testing of Crohn's and other digestive diseases.  More on this later.

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