The Return of Humira
Well, I have had to take my meds.
A couple of months ago, I had a pretty rough time. After the euphoria of seeing my consultant, playing mind games with her registrar and officially coming off my medication, I was feeling amazing, confident, bouncy, full of myself and ready for a drug free ‘rest of my life’. The reality, however, is that I’m not cured.
My daily log tells the story. From the start of February, things started to take a dive and I was feeling more unwell every day.
Unlike me, I started to worry. I tried to be patient and give it another day, and another, and another. But, it just wasn’t happening.
In the early hours of Thursday 14th February, after being unable to sleep, I hobbled out to the garage (where I keep the fridge for my drugs – there’s food in there too, I don’t just have a ‘drug fridge’) and injected. This was a big thing for me.
I’ve said before that I’m lucky, in that Humira establishes itself readily, so I was quickly feeling better – as the following days in my log show.
I was, however, quite disheartened because I had been clean.
But, really thinking about it, while I had been very clean with the food I was eating, I hadn’t stopped drinking. Well, I can’t resist a gin and tonic or six now and then! Who can? Well, I suppose lots of people can, but I do have a constant battle with my willpower – constant.
The news of my demise was greatly exaggerated – by me. It did elicit some interesting opinions from my family, though. My wife said, “Did you really think that you were cured?”
This took time to sink in. My wife has been my greatest support. She was the one who handed me the book ‘The Paleo Solution’ and said, “You’ll never read it”. She has been hugely encouraging and is the steadying force when I’m feeling down or reaching for the bread. She has stopped me from giving in lots of times. She is a formidable woman. Intelligent, tenacious, splendid, sharp, clever, quick, funny, brilliant and gorgeous. I am her biggest fan.
But, really. Honesty at this level. It took me by surprise. And it made me think. Did I REALLY think that I’d be cured? To be honest, yes.
Truth is, I don’t know. There was a small part of me really hoped that I’d be well and truly off the drugs. I was disappointed.
Then, I was having a chat with my eldest daughter. She said the same thing! “Dad, did you really think that you’d be cured?” She said this with a kind of ‘Dhuh, stoopid!’ look on her face. She’s a teenager after all.
So, a bit of deja vu and a reality check from the women in my life.
In the space of a few days my family had brought me back to earth and made me wonder if I really would/could/should come off the medication. It took me a week or two to get over this, which surprised me. I’m pretty upbeat, positive and optimistic most of the time and this set me back. I couldn’t get it off my mind. This was not a comfortable space for me to be in.
It’s a big cliché but being positive is essential for life with a chronic condition – or even without one. Life in general can be a bit shit. I have often been in lots of pain or constant discomfort. I’ve had painful operations and spent months recuperating. I’ve had wound infections, been catheterised more than once, had a feckin’ big needle stuck in my groin to aspirate fluid from my hip and had all sorts of other tubes of varying sizes thrust into bits of me.
Everything I’ve been through has been an experience and I have tried to treat everything as just that – an experience. I do think that attitude has a lot to do with wellbeing.
So, after my reality check my positivity has returned. Hurrah! Since taking my drugs at the beginning of February, I have felt the need to inject again – two weeks ago. But, the difference is that I have accepted that I MAY, that’s MAY, have to have a helping hand now and then.
I’m not giving up. I’ve gone ten and a half to eleven weeks between my last three injections and I’ve been feeling pretty good.
The experience leading up to the 29th April (my last injection) was nowhere near as severe as the build up to the 13th February, as you can see from this excerpt of my log. The difference this time is I have only taken Humira – I’ve left the Methotrexate out of the equation for now, just to see what happens.
This is all still an experiment and I’m still learning what I can tolerate and what I can’t. It’s all about the choices I make. As my wife keeps saying, “Is having a drink now and then something you’re not prepared to give up? You know it’s not Paleo. You need to make a choice.”
She’s right of course. Just like Neo in The Matrix Reloaded, it’s all about choice.
And making good ones.
- The beginning to natural healing of my skin (psoriasisgirl.wordpress.com)