I can barely believe it. I have been working towards this for years. I have all the available read the studies I could find on biological dmards, learned which ones have been proven effective on their own (some work far better if taken with methotrexate), searched endless documents for the Australian Medicare eligibility criteria, and educated myself in doctor speak so that I could plead my case to my new rheumy.
And now I have four week’s worth of Enbrel in my fridge. It’s an injection that will be self- administered (once I learn how) once a week. I have no problem with needles, and quite frankly I cannot wait to take my first shot!
But I have to wait.
I have had a staph infection that I have been on antibiotics for the last week for. It’s looking pretty healed to me. But I also have a cold. Can you take Enbrel with a cold? I think you can.
I have an appointment with my doc this afternoon to be shown how to use the autoinjector pen. I’ve watched the online video at the Enbrel website. Looks pretty simple.
I have four repeats. The Australian government allows four months of treatment, and then I need to prove that it is effective with blood work and another assessment from my rheumy.
If it’s not effective after four months, I will no longer be able to receive it. (Presumably I will be able to try another biological dmard)
But I have high hopes (once again). And once again, I’m a little nervous about side effects…adverse reactions…the long term consequences. I don’t allow myself to think about those too much though.
The last few weeks have certainly shown, that for me, living with uncontrolled Rheumatoid Arthritis is A Very Bad Thing. I am completely dependent on quite a hefty dose of prednisone to be able to move at all. At some point prednisone will start to cause more problems than it solves. When? Who knows? Next week? In ten years?
It’s a risk. A risk I don’t have to take, if Enbrel works for me. And while Enbrel has some very scarey side effects, they are very rare.
And still, even after all the issues, and problems, and side effects…I’m an optimist.
Enbrel is a risk well worth taking. Wish me luck!