|No aliens here.|
Wow. It is 5 years since I was diagnosed with (probable) CLIPPERS and pumped full of intravenous Prednisolone for a week. I was still in hospital and waiting for an MRI to show "radiological improvement" before they would let me out. At the time there were considerable question marks, not only about the long-term prognosis for CLIPPERS, but also about whether the diagnosis was correct or whether I might have something potentially worse. Since then, I have made steady progress and been remarkably stable health-wise. But I am careful not to become complacent.
I am a child of the video-game generation and have been playing games of various kinds virtually my whole life. I tend to like games which have a strategic, exploratory and/or puzzle component but am not averse to a bit of (video-game) ultra-violence, especially if combined with one of the above. Currently I am playing a game which I stayed away from for a while as I thought it would be too far outside my comfort-zone - Alien : Isolation. This is a game set in the Alien universe where, to cut a long story short, your character is stranded on a space-station being stalked by a predatory alien and with virtually no effective weapons. You can't kill this creature, you can only hide from it, distract it and occasionally make it retreat for a very short while. The creature wanders the corridors, travels through air-vents and is systematically searching for you. When it finds you, you come to a grisly end. Spooky.
It made me think about my experience with CLIPPERS. Like my character in the game, I know I am trapped in an environment with something nasty which I can't see and can't do much about. In the game, sometimes the alien disappears for a while, sometimes you can hear it rattling around nearby vents and sometimes it comes out of the vents and searches the rooms. In the game I am always listening and looking for signs the alien is near and in real life, although CLIPPERS doesn't seem very close at the moment, I am still looking for signs that it may be lurking nearby. Unlike in the game, if CLIPPERS reappears I can't hide from it, but at least I have a bit more idea what to expect. Also, in the game, I know I will ultimately have a chance to escape completely and I'm hoping the same will one day be true of CLIPPERS.
Update: With Azathioprine reduced to 150mg/day, my white blood cell count has stabilised at 3.4 which is acceptably abnormal. No signs to date that this dose reduction has had any unwanted CLIPPERS effects.
Read other articles in this series at Living With CLIPPERS.
Living With CLIPPERS by Bill Crum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.