Let's begin with this new treatment I am currently receiving.
Plasma Pheresis (Exchange) is Plasmapheresis is a blood purification procedure used to treat several autoimmune diseases. It is also known as therapeutic plasma exchange. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the body's own tissues. In many autoimmune diseases, the chief weapons of attack are antibodies, proteins that circulate in the bloodstream until they meet and bind with the target tissue. Once bound, they impair the functions of the target, and signal other immune components to respond as well.Plasmapheresis is used to remove antibodies from the bloodstream, thereby preventing them from attacking their targets. It does not directly affect the immune system's ability to make more antibodies, and therefore may only offer temporary benefit. This procedure is most useful in acute, self-limited disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, or when chronic disorders, such as myasthenia gravis, become more severe in symptoms. In these instances, a rapid improvement could save the patient's life. Neurologic diseases comprise 90% of the diseases that could profit from plasmapheresis.
Pump In the Jams, Pump In the Jams...
Through a short surgery, a "vas cap" was inserted into my jugular, which contains two ports. The plamsaphoresis machine was connected to both ports and then the nurse let the blood cleaning begin!
The blood was removed, and then spun on a centrifuge in the base of the machine. The plasma, which is lighter and carries the antibodies that are attacking me, was removed and placed into a bag. My red blood cells, which are heavier, were wrapped in the circular tubing and kept nice and warm.
Pump It Up, Pump, Pump It Up!
/al-BEU-mim/? It is a human derivative of plasma, without the cruddy antibodies. Bottles of albumin hang upside down from the top of the machine. I thought they were bottles of apple cider vinegar! Now I know that apple cider vinegar is good for you, but that was ridiculous!
If You Think It's Pee, Urine Wrong!
O.K., So What's The Goal?
For me, it's a bit of a crap shoot because these neurological symptoms have presented themselves evasively "undiagnosable," despite and dozens of wonderful doctors that have spent so much time investigating. Kim and I have researched this procedure and have wanted to try it for four years, but it is very expensive and high doses of steroids have semi-worked in the past. I am "pleased as punch" to have the opportunity for these treatments! God willing, I will be able to feel my left leg again. I'll let you know tomorrow! Prayers hold amazing power, which I will soon attest in this blog, so keep liftin' them up!