When it comes to health stuff, there is never a good time for things to go wrong.
After my latest round of blood work, my liver enzymes are back up, and my white blood cell count is down, again, so my rheumatologist is recommending I stop taking Methotrexate for good, and try Humira.
(At least I don’t have to worry about the MTX shortage anymore…)
Medication changes make me really nervous, and knowing that it will take several months to kick in, I worry about the period of not feeling good that is likely to ensue. I kind of thought things were getting to a more stable place, but I guess not.
It’s a bummer because MTX worked so well in helping my arthritis symptoms, but ultimately, the things it was doing in the background were not so good.
And I guess we’ve done this dance with MTX long enough. It was the same when I was on the oral form; off, on, up, down. The injectable form definitely had less noticeable side effects, but seemed to not work for my overall health.
So my rheum told me to do some homework on Humira, and let him know if/when I want to start it. Right now, I can’t be on nothing, because I won’t be able to function at a very high level. And I guess I have to be willing to try everything once. I can’t rule it out until I’ve tried it, although many of the things I’ve read about Humira are just downright scary.
Humira is a biologic, unlike MTX, which is a DMARD (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug). Biologics actually change your DNA. That’s pretty scary, right?
And people say the injection hurts like all get out.
I feel like I had just gotten used to the MTX injections. I had figured out a way to do the shots myself, I had come to terms with this once weekly routine, and I had made peace with the fact that this ritual was helping, rather than hurting, me.
And now I start at the beginning again. With a new medication, and all that comes with it.
While I’ve heard about these medications from TV commercials, and patient bloggers who are on them, I haven’t paid that close attention to them. I was hoping that things wouldn’t have to get to this point, to be honest. But clearly MTX is neither a temporary nor permanent solution for me.
And I think we’ve followed the natural progression of things. First I was only on Prednisone, and then we added in Plaquenil. Then we tried CellCept. Then we got rid of CellCept, and tried oral MTX. Then we got rid of Plaquenil and added Quinacrine. And we moved from oral MTX to injectable MTX. And I was hoping that the Flexeril-MTX-Prednisone as needed-Quinacrine regimen would work.
But no such luck. So here I am, finding myself at the door to the biologics, which are really my only hope at this point.
I hate to be in a situation where I feel like meds are my only hope. I wish it weren’t that way. I wish I didn’t have to say that in order to be functional, I need the meds.
And I wish that these decisions were easier. I have gone back and forth about this, and I’m still thinking that I might chicken out. But what will that do? Only prolong the agony?
I need to find a medication regimen that works, and that doesn’t try to kill me in the process…
I hate this game, but I have to be strong, put up a fight, and win.