Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It’s official: I use IV drugs

For the first time since I was 16, I am able to put my shoulders back, or sit up straight in a chair without looking like the housewife version of Hugo’s Quasimodo. I was recently diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis (PsA). At first, my reasons for going to the dermatologist were strictly cosmetic and a matter of discomfort, but turns out...I had all the signs of arthritis. I’m 36. Autoimmune disorders run rampant on both sides of my family. And believe it or not, there is a very deep dividing line between taking snake oil and eliminating certain foods in your diet to treat this disease, and the other side (the actual sufferers) that casually exchange stories about the latest biologic drugs like we’re poppin’ Tylenol. However, it was my sister’s fight with Rheumatoid Arthritis that has led the way for me (and my dad) to take some pretty powerful drugs with possible side effects that scare me, and most people shit less--well you’ve heard the commercials. Thank God I’m not afraid of needles, because the drug that I have gone through hours of phone calls with insurance adjusters, and a bit of hell to get approved, works. OH and it’s a pre-filled injectable biologic called, Enbrel. For the past two weeks, I open my fridge door, push aside the cottage cheese and snag what looks like a marker. A quick alcohol swab to my extremities, and I’m jammin’ that baby into a thigh, forearm or buttock. You would think that the strangest part would be prepping my forearm to receive a needle without consulting a former drug addict, but it’s been the absence of pain that has been the realization of its existence.

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