Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Pre Tests

So now that they said I can do the pre tests, I was so happy. I was so relieved I could post pone the shots. I was hoping all would be perfect and I would be allowed into the test. The tests took a couple months. Mostly I think because of our schedule. We live in Chattanooga and the tests were in Atlanta which is a 2 hour average drive. They tried to schedule as much in one day as possible. My husband had to drive me and he only gets so many days off at a time. Bless his heart, he blew through all his days taking me to the doctor.

I had to get a lime disease test and lupus test here because it was in my Neurologists papers that she recomended it as a just in case measure. Those two diseases apparently can mimic a lot of the same symptoms. But looking at my MRIs, all doctors have had little doubt about my condition. Especially with the previous relapse I had the prior year. The refered to the term "textbook" when looking at all my symptoms and tests.

The tests in Atlanta were a chest scan which scans the heart and lungs. A MRI for them. You have to go do breathing tests, which has an official name, but it escapes me at the moment. You go to a dermatologist to record your moles and sizes. An increase in cancerous moles is a possible side effect, but is one I wonder if it is wide spread or was it something one person got and now will forever be a side effect. The doctor looks at all your moles and records the size, shape, etc. If there is anything she didn't like she removed it. This is covered by the study. I thought being a fair and practically see through as I am and having several little moles and freckles she would find a ton that she wouldn't like, but she only found 2. They were painlessly removed. Trust me when I say that. I am a big baby when it comes to stuff like that and I felt nothing.

There are several tests that you do that you will repeat a bunch of times that test your cognitive abilities, reflexes and stuff. Plus if you are a female you will pee in a cup every time you go so they can do a pregnancy test. They also take blood and run an ekg to check your heart every time too. There are a couple of times you will wear a holter monitor too. Which is like a portable ekg. You wear it for 24 hours. You do this during pre-test.

You also go to the eye doctor in pre test and often times after. This is really the most annoying of the tests. It is because the service is so slow. You spend 2+ hours waiting for a 5 min appointment. The pre test does a scan of your eye and looks to make sure its healthy. Its easy. I call it the light show. You look in the eye peace and follow the light where they tell you and it scans your eyes while you are doing this. The other part, which is the repetative part you will do tons of times, is they dialate your eyes and then the doctor will look in them.

The chest scan is only repeated at the end of the 2 years. The skin test is repeated at 1 year mark and 2 year mark. The MRI is done every 6 months. Everything else is repetative. You get a execl type chart with what is done when and they schedule me out almost a year in advance.

After all these things are done then you wait for results. They have to send all the stuff to switzerland or norway for the company to review all the info. They make the final ruling and then mail out your drugs and paper work to the study location.

I did get a copy on disk of my chest scan and they could talk to me about things going on during this time, but I was told I will not be informed anymore after I start the drugs.

The skin doctor too, said that if I had something I wanted removed, I could do it on my next visit for $25 each. So I am saving. I have 3 I really want removed because they are in bad locations that get scratched a lot. I also have a few red dots that have an official name, but are basically renegade blood vessels. She said that she could fix those to for same price. So I am saving for my next visit to get as much work done as possible. lol.

This all took about 2 months.


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