No, not the Britany Spears song (or the marvellous Deftones mash-up version):

Nor the 1990s British Comic for mature readers. Today we’re talking about drugs or rather medication. The stuff that you’re given to make you better.

After a year where my Sarcoidosis has progressed into my lung tissue and also had a pretty good go at my eyes I have been “bumped up” to the interstitial lung disease team at my local hospital. The ILD team are basically in charge of various diseases that cause scarring (fibrosis) or - in my case - granulomas which cause stiffness in the lungs and make breathing difficult.

As part of a review with the ILD team it has been decided to try immune sparing agents to help arrest the progression of the sarcoidosis. Essentially drugs to stop my body fighting itself. So on top of the low dose of steroids I have been on to manage the condition in my lungs and eyes I’ve just started on Methotrexate, a drug usually used for the chronic inflammatory condition arthritis, cancer patients and organ transplants.

Methotrexate is extremely potent, even in smaller doses. The box comes with a massive red sticker on it “Cyto-toxin!” which literally means “cell poison”. It is so potent it is only taken weekly and needs to be taken with folic acid to help reduce the side effects. Twice weekly blood tests beckon to ensure that there isn’t any collateral damage from taking the drug such as liver function (as a fond fan of beer, wine and whiskey it is at the very least refreshing to get a weekly reminder that my liver is functioning as normal).

The main down side of this medication is that it is designed to wipe out your body’s natural immune system which leaves you open to the bugs and sniffles you would normally fight off without even noticing.

So fingers crossed this controls the sarcoidosis and can help me manage this obscure condition going forward. It is frustrating is that the medication will not help with any of the symptoms of the sarcoidosis: brain fog, fatigue, etc. It is there. In the words of my ILD doctor these drugs are not to make the condition better but rather to stop the Sarcoidosis getting worse. But it is great to have it under closer observation after the last five years or so and hopefully will mean my body being a bit less of a twat to itself.