My Crohn’s disease has been flaring for awhile now-6 months or more. This means that my appetite is often nonexistent, I feel nauseated when I do actually eat, and I run low-grade fevers constantly. I’ve only listed several of the symptoms here, because I don’t want to bore anyone.
My GI doctor, who specializes in the gastrointestinal tract, knows a lot about Crohn’s disease, and he seems to be quite a bright guy.
He wanted to start me on a drug called Humira, which is injected at various intervals, by the patient. He had done significant testing to show that the disease was actually active, and that something needed to be done about it. Hence the Humira.
I put off taking this drug for over a month.
I had a doc who is an integrative physician. While she is also extremely bright, she believed that my Crohn’s disease would go into remission if I changed my diet in specific ways. Unfortunately, after following her dietary advice for 4 weeks, I found that I was feeling pretty much the same.
Humira is called a biologic drug. It suppresses the Tumor Necrosis Factor, which in turn reduces inflammation, and alters one’s immune system in significant ways.
There are many potential risks involved with taking it. And, I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of giving myself injections. It is serious stuff.
It’s too bad, but all of the meds I’ve tried, that truly help me with depression, or anxiety, or my Crohn’s disease, also are powerful, and can cause problems along with the benefits.
My GI doc and I had an appointment several days ago, where he went over risks versus benefits of the drug. We spent about 20 minutes discussing this, and I came to the conclusion that it was time to begin taking it.
I have all of the medication, which comes inside of these large pens, with a needle inside. They were in the fridge for the month that I was on my special diet.
The company Humira has a program where you can be set up with a nurse ambassador. She/He can come to your home, and show you how to properly inject yourself with the meds, or talk you through it on the phone.
Today, I decided that I was sick of feeling so sick, and that it was the day that I wanted to start the new drug.
I had planned on having a nurse come to my home to physically show me, but that would have meant another week of waiting.
So, the nurse, Nichole, very kindly went through the steps with me, as I followed along.
Because the needle is hidden, it’s somehow less scary than using a syringe.
I needed to give myself two shots today, as that is the protocol. The medication builds up in your blood over time.
I pinched my significant muffin top on one side, first, and placed the bottom of the open pen like instrument firmly against my skin. Of course I used alcohol wipes, first.
Then I pushed the button. It has to be held for about 15 seconds, to make sure that all of the Humira has been injected.
Then I pinched the other side of my significant muffin top, and repeated the procedure.
I was surprised to find that it really wasn’t painful, and it wasn’t a big deal at all.
So, I’ll be giving myself one shot of the drug, every two weeks, and hopefully in a relatively short period of time will begin to feel better.
My life sucks sometimes, but I’m hoping that will change.