Last monday a consultant from social welfare (UWV) came to see me and talk to me. A friend of mine was there as well to keep me on the rails during my conversation with this welfare- and labor-consultant.
The consultant and I discussed the way I have been going in my life since I got this Auto-immunedisease. My hobbies, about my social life, etc.
He was of the opion that my life has had a great change and that my illness has been a great turnaround. And that I was unable to do the work that I used to do. Moreover he was of the opinion that the things that have happened to me with losing my kidneys and my left-eye made it really impossible to be able to do regular work in the field I used to work in.
Because of that he was sure that I am “unfit for work”, that is unfit as legally described. That also means that I will be receiving as from November 12th, 2014, a welfare allowance because I am unfit to work.
Between today and November 12th there will be a discussion held between my manager (and the health-case manager, both representing my employer), the aforementioned consultant and me, on how to finalize my case, that is my case at my employers and my case between my employer and social welfare. And by that time the financial consequences will also be put on paper. As from November 12th, social welfare will be paying my wages.
The story of Microsocopic Polyangiitis (MPA)
MPA has attacked my kidneys in 2012 and now 2 years later it has also attacked my left eye.
November 2014 it will be 2 years that I am on sick leave and in the Netherlands that means that I shall have to be examined by a physician working for social security. This is necessary for me to be eligible for social security and the percentage of social security I will be receiving and the percentage I am still fit to work. And afterwards someone else has to examine what sort of work I can still do given the fact that I am partly unfit to work and that I have to have dialysis 3 times a week (with everything that entails). A few weeks I have sent in the necessary paperwork for the request of said examination. I received notification that paerwork had ben received and yesterday someone from UWV (the office that does the examination for the social security eligibility) called requesting some extra info regarding my auto-immune disease. I explained to him the status of my disease and what my disease can hold in store, the attack of the other organs in my body (infections of the capillaries of an organ). Now he has to use that information and act upon it as part of the examination.
Anyway; I need a holiday.
Today I paid a visit to the ophthalmologist at the AMC after a week full of eye exams.
The last week (11 July 2014) I was rushed to the ophthalmologist because I had reduced vision in the left eye. It was already quite likely that my left eye was partially attacked by my autoimmune disease.
Today I finally got an insight into what happened in my left eye. As a result of P–Anca related vasculitis (my microscopic polyangiitis, my autoimmune disease) my left eye temporarily received insufficient amount of oxygen through the blood because the capillaries were inflamed. This is called an infarction. As a result, a part of the sight of my left eye (“the curtain at the top of the field of view of my left eye“) was inoperative. I also understand that this cannot be corrected anymore, but we can prevent it from getting worse. I am now under the control of one of the leading ophthalmologists of the AMC.
The dialysis has changed now, there is less Fraxiperine (anti–clotting) given, and the technique is slightly modified, predilution (pre-mixing water and blood, instead of post-dilution) before it enters the artificial kidney of the dialysis machine. But my dialysis goes on as normal without severe problems.
Well, besides two rickety kidneys a creaky left eye is another addition.
Because my physical condition is good I can endure this. I must accept it and deal with it. .
Yesterday (July 11, 2014) I was urgently admitted to the Ophthalmic clinic of the AMC.
1) What was going on: I missed part of the field of vision of the left eye. There was a curtain at the top of the field of vision of the left eye. The presumption was that possibly part of the cornea had become unleashed.
2) The diagnosis: After much research it became apparent that the capillaries were severely narrowed in the left eye. The most obvious reason is the inflammation of the capillaries caused by vasculitis (this has to do with my Microscopic Polyangiitis).
3) the inflammation is treated with prednisone.
4) What does this mean: the procedures that were initiated for a kidney transplant are pushed to the back burner (for several years).
I am back at home because I didn’t need to be hospitalized
On June 19th, 2014 I received more good news.
My nephrologist told me that my dossier about my kidneys is to be given to the kidney transplant group.
One of the aspects of my disease MPA is the presence of Anca-particles in my blood. The level of these particles is as low as it was when I left the hospital at the end of 2012. That means that the disease has come to a stop for now. It also means that there is no risc for the disease to reject a transplanted kidney as well.
Because of that the chances of a succesful kidney transplant are there. Now the time has come to do research whether my body and my heart, etc. can withstand the operation of a transplant. Because of my age a check of my heart is necessary.
I am in very good spirits with that news. It was already evident because of my current condition that I was doing well. I have started working again. But this has been great news that the possibility of a transplant is there. I hope you all enjoy the great news as well.
On June 5th, 2014 I had a talk with my kidney specialist. During the conversation it has become apparent that after two years of illness and kidney-failure, this coming November the research is going to be started on whether a kidney transplant will be viable, and then it is the start of waiting for a transplant kidney. We have to make sure that my MPA has died down and that MPA can’t destroy an eventual transplant kidney.
Furthermore it has also become apparent that my health is on the whole quite good apart from my two rotten kidneys.
All in all this is to me very positive news.
And I feel good!
Februari 2014 Harold Ramis, star in the movie Ghostbusters and director of several movies such as Groundhog Day, died as a result of Autoimmune Inflammatory Vasculitis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Ramis)
Autoimmune Inflammatory Vasculitis is related to Microscopic Polyangiitis and is an autoimmune vasculitis disease. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasculitis)
It is of course utterly necessary that research is continued to the nature, causes and therapy of autoimmune vasculitis disease.
In my case the cleansing of my blood of p-anca particles is part of the therapy to overcome the disease, next to regular dialysis and a sodium-poor diet.
As a result of my present therapy my dialysis sessions have been shortened, from 4 hours per session to 3 and a half hours per session. But 3 sessions per week still.
I have good news about my dialysis. It goes well with me, so I’m going to have less dialysis. Yesterday (February 13th, 2014) my Nephrologist (for connoisseurs: the kidney specialist) told me that instead of 3 times 4 hours of dialysis per week, starting next sunday (February 16th, 2014) I will be having 3 x 3 ½ hours per week of dialysis and it might be even less in the future.
Two weeks ago a friend of mine accompanied me to the Dianet Dialysis Clinic in Amsterdam. She wrote about it in her blog. I would very much like to ask you to read her blog on the Good Men Project. Her name is Sherri and she lives in NYC.
Intimacy With a Man Going Through a Health Crisis
The story of Microsocopische Polyangiitis (MPA)
(because of judicial reasons this part has been deleted)
The Dutch Wegener Stichting is in the Netherlands the main source for everything related with Vasculitis diseases.
The Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins are the main sources for such information in North America.
For more information about MPA:
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microscopic_polyangiitis (Enlish)
Wikipedia http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microscopische_polyangiitis (Dutch)
Wegener Stichting: http://www.vasculitis.nl/ (Dutch)
Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/microscopic_polyangiitis (English)
Johns Hopkins: http://vasculitis.med.jhu.edu/typesof/polyangiitis.html (English)
See also in Wikpedia: p-ANCA, Vasculitis, Churg-Stauss Syndrome