I thought people might be interested to hear about the impact of having a rather longstanding cold on my ESR levels. They have been around 30 for the last six months. I didnt have a cold or flu all the way through the winter, but since the beginning of June I've had a persistent cold which is on the way out. I also developed an itchy rash after starting injectable methotrexate so was on low mtxate levels too. Anyway the last time I went for a blood test my esr levels had gone up to 79 and I was having random flares - shoulder, elbow, knee, hands all over the place. A couple of weeks ago they were so bad that I phoned the hospital helpline and was told to take anti-inflammatories and pain killers. Interestingly the painkillers I had in the medicine cupboard expired in 2006, which gives you a good idea of how controlled my RA has been.
Anyway - good news this morning. I'm shaking off this cold and my ESR has gone down to 47. Still a way to go, but I think it confirmed that cold, inflammation, flares and high esrs go together.
Further, I talked to my doctor about methotrexate and antibiotics. She says that if they took people off mtxate every time they went on antibiotics it would be very confusing. I said that it seems that there's a different view for every practitioner and she agreed. The hospital had sent me a pro-forma saying that you should come off mtxate when you're taking antibiotics! My GP is also looking in to singles jags and mtxate. I know the pack drill about not being able to use live vaccines, she is looking at how long I might need to be off mtxate in order to get the jag. Both my parents suffered greatly from the after effects of shingles and my GP agreed that given that we're immunosuppressed we ought to have it if there's any way.
So bits of info I thought it would be useful to share.