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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a steroid shot yesterday and ended up having to have blood work on drs. orders (didn't see him, just went in and got the shot cuz I was bottomed out for a week or two). So today while I was driving I got a call from the nurse telling me that my WBC was "better". She said it was really low in October (I had pnuemonia then) and that while it isn't back up to "low normal" it is much better than in October. I was driving and didn't write down the numbers and can't for the life of me remember. I think the October number was 1.something.

So, what does a low WBC mean for us? I'm taking imuran (although I've been really bad and have been off it for the past month). I intend to call tomorrow and talk to my regular nurse who knows everything. But for tonight, what do I make of this?

Sunny
 

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Hey there Confused1

I managed to get suspected glandular fever last month and had blood work done then too. My doctor said that my white blood count was really low then also but that it could have been cause either by the infection or by my meds (had just started taking Plaquinal (sp?)).
Anyway, I had my blood work repeated again once I felt a bit better and it had come back up again so it was the infection that had caused the problem.
Perhaps its was your pneumonia that caused yours to drop also and its taking its time coming back up again. I'm sure my doctor told me at the time that a normal level is 2. I think mine had dropped down to 1.6 or something like that.

Anyway, hope you get to the bottom of what's going on!

Numpt x
 

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:) Hi Sunny, You don't want your white cells to be low, they are the ones that help us fight"the bad health"
I was the one that was on imuran for a few months until one day I was in my hematologist office, he took one look at me, took my blood right there, got the results, and told my husband to get me to the closest hospital, and tell them that it is a matter of emergency, and that he would call the hospital by the time we got there. To make a long story short, I needed 3 1/2 pints of blood and they put me in a sterile room. The dr. kept close watch on my bloods, and finally found that it was the imuran that was doing this. He works closely with my Rheumy, called heim, and I was off of the imuran, and imidately felt better. I sure hope this helps, have it checked right away.:rolleyes:
 

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Sunny
Mine got down to 0.7 when I was in the hospital a couple of months ago. The doctors attributed it to the bad lupus flare I was having. I also had to have blood transfusion (2 pints). I tend to have to have transfusions when I flare up badly. When I was released from hospital, it was 1.3 Within a week, my WBC had gone up to 2.4 after steroid treatment. The doctor now says it is within a low normal range, but I just started Cellcept which tends to lower the WBC. I had been taking Imuran for 3 years and I was taken off of that when it went so low. We'll see how the Cellcept works. I'm getting all the bloodwork done again in a couple of weeks to see where I stand. Try not to worry too much about it like I did. I thought I was going to die and was all paranoid, but it can go back up pretty quickly. The doctors just warned me to be extra cautious about washing my hands and staying away from sick people.
 

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Sunny,

Did you talk to your nurse today? Medications like Imuran often have low WBC counts as a side effect. If I remember right Lupus itself can also cause low WBC. As the others have said if it gets too low it is very serious.

Take care,
Karen
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Karen, I posted in LivingWith Lupus about my discussion with the nurse today. Yes, apparently I've had "dangerously low" WBC and nobody bothered to tell me. She said it was "assumed" in October that the low count was due to the pneumonia. Hmmmmmm. That was the first blood work I'd had in a year and this was the first since then. If you read that post you'll see that I'm headed back in to see Dr. in two weeks and that the options available are not what I want.

Sunny
 

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Hi Sunny

Do you not get regular blood tests then? I've had at least a FBC every 6 weeks since diagnosis. I've really got to know the nurses at my GP surgery! Something to be aware of: I believe "normal" range is set separately by every laboratory so the numbers people throw around on these forums aren't necessarily comparable.

I find it helps when I have an abnormal result to ask which specific result is low, as usually it's only 1 part of my white count (my neutrophils) that's low, which means there's only one kind of infection I need to watch out for (bacterial).

Anyway, hope you get/got all the information you need from your nurse and manage to steer clear of nasty bugs until your white count is back up.

xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Kate. Good advice. My dr. is reluctant to give out specific results. I don't have blood work very often. I usually have to call a day or two after seeing him and wheedle the nurse into telling me the numbers.

Sunny
 
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