Friday, September 18, 2009

Quick thoughts on immunization from BB

I forgot to mention, I did ask BB a bit more about immunization theory, etc. Some highlights.

* My immune system functionality should recover fully. This conflicts slightly with BJ commenting that she had never seen a "CD4 count return to normal" (these are the famous "helper" T-cells). BB seemed confident. We shall see.

* My immune system will "remember" previously acquired immunities. This is a big relief to me. No reimmunization is required.

* The fact that I got shingles once does not increase the likelihood that I will get it again. It is 98% gone now, by the way, and there looks to be no residual pain. BB asked why I was not immediately put on IV Acyclovir, which is consistent with his aggressive nature. By comparison, my primary care physician said that would never happen unless severe complications occurred.

* During flu season, I should NOT be vaccinated, but I should take Tamiflu instead. This is somewhat at odds with the notion of a fully-recovered immune system...shouldn't I be able to tolerate a live vaccine if that's the case? Maybe this is somewhere down the line.

I'll ask SF about this if I see him when I do the consult on the portacath, and will also ask GD about this when I see him in a couple of weeks for maintenance. I may even ask Kathy G about it when I see her next week for breakfast.