Posts Tagged ‘enbrel’


Although biologic drugs have been the most incredible blessing in my life since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) because I’m able to move around now so more than ever, I still cringe every other week when it’s time to stick a needle in my body. And when I say I still cringe, I really mean that I jump up and down, swear, scream and all around act like a 5-year-old who was denied candy. I have these temper tantrums not because I’m afraid of needles, but it just creeps me out when I inject MYSELF with a needle. Honestly, I have no problem with registered RN’s taking a stab at me (they do it all the time), but I am no trained professional.

I recently came across this instructional video created by the folks at Abbott Labs and thought I would share. It does a really good job explaining the proper way to inject biologic syringes (not just Humira). I have to say that I have never given myself the injection in my stomach as I always go for the fatty part of my inner thigh (it just makes me more comfortable), but all of the other steps are right on. So watch this video before you take a stab at it. It’s so much more informative than the black & white pamphlet I reviewed before my first injection.

 

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Are biologic drugs right for you?


In the midst of another busy day at work yesterday, the newest Chronic Babe newsletter written by Editrix Jenni happened to pop into my inbox. I rarely have the time to read these while working, but desperately needed a minute to step away from the 25,000 line Excel spreadsheet I was analyzing before my eyes glazed over and my head exploded. I don’t know how many of you have come into contact with Chronic Babe’s website or newsletters before, but let me tell you… they are simply amazing!

The Chronic Babe site is designed to give women living with chronic diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, a spot to connect via laughter, shared medical tips, career successes, embarrassing stories, boy gossip and more. Ultimately, Chronic Babe provides readers with an escape to a fun place where girls living with illnesses are not alone. And it does all of this while making these women feel sexy and proud.

Here’s a snip-it from yesterday’s newsletter. This is for all you sexy, wonderful sick girls out there! I hope you find Jenni’s writing as powerful as I do.

 

“The other day I tallied the number of doctor appointments I had in one week: 5. Then I thought about how many business calls were piggybacked on either side of those appointments, and how for each call I had to put on my best business face (voice!) and not let on that I wasn’t feeling well. Then I thought about the deadlines I met, the challenging conversations I had, the time I spent patiently explaining rheumatoid arthritis (changed from fibromyalgia) a to a new friend who was confused, the numerous bus rides I took while in huge pain. For a moment I was tempted to look at the tally of everything and throw a big ol’ pity party. Why me? Why do I have to deal with this big pile of awful? And why do I have to show up for everything with a great attitude, being helpful when I’m exhausted and compassionate toward others when *I’m* the one in pain?

Why? Because I’m brave. Yup, I said it: I’m brave.

I’m not trying to be braggy here. I’m not puffing myself up. I’m just being real with you. I’m brave. SuperBrave. Every day—in spite of pain, fatigue, headaches, exhaustion, cramps, stomach irritation, blurry eyesight, dizziness, memory problems and, did I mention, pain—I show up for my life. I work, I maintain relationships, I put on makeup and cute clothes, I volunteer in my community, I nurture my creativity. And I do everything I can to maintain my health, including (but certainly not limited to) exercising, eating right, practicing sleep hygiene, meditating, praying, taking my meds on schedule, asking for help, doing yoga, journaling and following doctors’ orders. I am totally awesome!

Guess what? You are too! You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t trying to be the best Babe you can be in spite of illness. I bet you do a ton of things to take good care of yourself. I bet you do a ton of things to care for others as well. And I bet there are people in your life who don’t have a clue how hard you work to keep it all together, to THRIVE and not just survive. I’m not just guessing here; I get your emails every day, talk to you on the ChronicBabe Forum, meet you at events. I see you out there! You are some of the bravest, most hard-working, inspiring folks I’ve ever known. And it’s YOUR bravery that keeps me motivated on my worst days.”

 

So to all my RA affected readers out there, remember that you are totally awesome!! I believe that there isn’t much out there that you can’t do. Stay well and stay active because while your body sometimes gives up on you, you can’t give in to the disease by giving up on yourself.

Visit chronicbabe.com to read other inspirational blogs and to sign up for Jenni’s newsletter. I hope Jenni’s newsletter brightens your day like it does mine.


Pain can be a major drain

According to the Mayo clinic definition, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which “occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues. In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your whole body with fevers and fatigue”.
Let’s think about this for a moment… That means my immune system really attacks my own body’s tissues? Yes, once you are diagnosed with this debilitating disease, you learn that your body will constantly fight YOU for the rest of your life. Imagine that… Your body has no control of your body. Scary stuff.
In my case, pain moves throughout different joints in my body, but it does so symmetrically. So if my left wrist is in agonizing pain, my right wrist is sympathetic and the pain in my right wrist becomes excruciating too. The same is true in my toes, my fingers and most often.. my hips. My hips burn constantly. When my disease flares up in my hips, knees or ankles, I can barely walk let alone make my way up the stairs to my second floor bedroom.  When my fingers are affected, it’s impossible for me to wash my hair, brush my teeth or button my own fly. Thank God leggings are back in style!
While it’s true that research and medicine have come a LONG LONG way over the past 5-10 years, they haven’t yet come far enough.  I started trying various drug cocktails about five years ago now. From Methotrexate to Prednisone to Humira to Enbrel to Sulfasalazine to Naproxen to Vicodin to Celebrex and still no 100% relief?! Unbelievable. My current flavor of the week is a combination of Humira, Methotrexate and Sulfasalazine. Who knows what’s next? My doctor recently mentioned Orencia which is given through transfusions once a month. Sure, I’ll find the time to spend an entire day at the doctor’s office once a month between working all day and going to school in the evenings…
All of that being said, I’m starting to get the feeling that I’ve painted myself as an absolute pessimist between my last two blog entries. I promise you dear readers, that is not the case. In fact, it’s amazing what happens to people when God throws some obstacles in their way. Nothing is impossible! More on that later.