And now ladies and gentlemen.
Sponsored by RoActemra.
The Big Fight 2013/14.
Middleweight Division (75 - 80Kg) Over 12 rounds.
Venue Royal Devon and Exeter Rheumatology Department, Caperon Ward.
Featuring in the Red corner, Rheumatoid Arthritis (Inflammatory Jack) v in the Blue corner, on the Tocilizumab Drip, Harry The Cytokine Kid (Toc H for short.)
Your referee for this contest is Gayle Githens - Mazer. (Rheumatology research nurse top grade)
Round 1 15th Aug. to 12th Sept.
The Cytokine Kid weighs in at 77kg but looks in bad shape as the drip is disconnected and they get ready for the bell. His knuckles, wrists and fingers are already swollen and stiff, he’s having trouble making a fist or straightening his fingers so won’t even be able to give a decent slap either. His Das 28 score is way up and the ref is not too happy the fight should be allowed to proceed. No way is he going to get them gloves on without an anaesthetic. He complains to the referee his legs and knees feel weak and ache and his feet are playing up rotten. He looks for the towel as the bell for round one rings but someone has removed it before he can throw it in.
Inflammatory Jack comes off the stool with a big smirk on his face that says this will soon be over. If Toc H survives the anaphylactic shock of the drip, Inflammatory Jack has boasted he’ll sock it to him with a real big flare up before he can settle into any sort of routine.
The first twelve days are slow going as they feel each other out with jabs and counter IL-6 blockers but The Cytokine Kid is starting to move easier and lands several IL-6 blockers as Inflammatory Jack misses with a big flare haymaker. Toc H seems to be making a better fist of things now and bunches his fingers up tighter. The pain, swelling and tenderness in his fingers, knuckles and wrists seem to have improved. Could he be getting stronger?
28th Aug. The Cytokine Kid connects with a beautiful right hook below the belt after the seconds relay his blood test results ESR 2 CRP 1. Inflammatory Jack is temporarily rocked back on his heels at this unexpected low blow.
2nd/ 3rd Sept. IJ hits back causing some serious aches and pains in The Cytokine Kid’s feet, ankles, knees and leg muscles. The seconds throw paracetamol tablets into the ring. Toc H grabs a few gratefully.
5th Sept. Lots of leg work by the Cytokine Kid. Too much. Inflammatory Jack takes full advantage. Toc H complaining of sore feet, aching leg muscles, weak knees and aches and pains in shoulders. Taking frequent breathers after bouts of fatigue. Couple more paracetamol but no NSAIDS yet.
10th Sept. This looks evenly matched. Could be a prolonged war of attrition decided on points. It all depends on how well The Cytokine Kid can pace himself against IJ’s relentless onslaught
.Round 1 drawing to a close. Cytokine Kid looking more confident by the day. Doing more work in the garden, legs getting stronger, walking further, swellings stiffness and inflammation all but disappeared. Still some aches and pains but nothing a couple of paracetamol won't fix. Was that a packet of NSAIDS the Kid just threw into the bin? He's even started to play the piano again. Now there's a liberty. Inflammatory Jack won't like this at all. Round 2 coming up on 12th September. The Kid looks in good shape. ESR and CRP now both less than 1. Nearly as good as a deceased person. Can this be a more one sided affair than we thought?
Round 2 To be continued after 12th Sept...