Excellent News! This morning the nurses took a few vials of my blood to check my levels. I learned this afternoon that everything was "normal." I then asked specifically about my CK level. CK is short of Creatine Kinase which is a type of protein called an enzyme. It catalyzes or "encourages" a biochemical reaction to occur. The normal function of CK in our cells is to add a phosphate group to creatine, turning it into the high-energy molecule phosphocreatine which is burned as a quick source of energy by our cells.
During the process of muscle degeneration, as in FSH muscular dystrophy patients, muscle cells break open and find their way into the blood stream. Because most of the CK in the body normally exists in muscle, a rise in the amount of CK in the blood indicates that muscle damage has occurred or is occurring. In healthy adults, the CK levels can vary depending on gender, race and activity, but normal range is 22 to 198.
Arguably, CK is not a definitive measure of the progression of any muscular disorder, but in my case I have monitored it for the past 10+ years based on my doctor's tests. Below is a chart of those numbers. When I arrived in China in mid-March for my treatment, my CK was 188, a drop from 209 in November of '08. Now it's at 74 which may indicate the progression of my disease has slowed down or stopped altogether!