Be ready to laugh! I sat for my last IV infusion in September! If you’ve been following my blog you know why this is hilarious. With the reimbursement nightmare spanning nine months I stopped the infusion until I got my money back. Last week’s blog post was about the extreme fatigue I experienced while off the medication so my doctor was thrilled when I re-started the infusion.
First, I didn’t feel any better. I expected to. But, I didn’t. The first time I sat for the infusion I felt so good the next day, I went on a four hour hike. Honestly, I expected miracles. They never came. Okay, I shouldn’t be so harsh, I did feel less tired but that was it.
The worst bit was the return of two infections. One was a sinus infection I’ve battled since who knows when. I had corrective sinus surgeries, in college, because of infections and debilitating headaches. In high school, they got so bad I took too many sick days (the longest was a week). Apprently, there was no point in getting those invasive surgeries because I still battle these infections (remember when I ended up in hospital because of them?) I was fine until I started the Orencia, which unfortunately suppresses the part of the immune response that also fights sinus infections. Just my luck!
I am also dealing with a recurrent yeast infection. I started getting them in April. At the time I actually didn’t know they were infections and thought the symptoms were side-effects of prolonged Ambien use (the only medication change in a few months). Turns out yeast infections are side effects of prednisone use and because I have to increase every so often I am more prone to them.
I was really bummed because during the two months I was off the Orencia I did not have any sinus headaches! I slept with all my pets through the night without any problems and I rid myself of yeast symptoms, as well! Hooray!
Until the infusion…
Like clockwork, both infections came back full force. My headaches rivaled those I had back in high school and the yeast infection? Well, those are just annoying.
Thankfully, I had my monthly rheumatologist’s appointment the following week so I sat down with my doctor and we discussed my options. I needed to stay on biologic and, unfortunately, Orencia did the best job of suppressing my RA symptoms. He agreed the side effects were too much so we compromised and decided to make the switch back to subcutaneous injections. They are weekly, self-injections so the dose is lower. Hopefully, I will maintain my condition and the other symptoms.
I never felt as great on the sub-q injections as I did on the IV infusion but honestly, I am willing to feel a little bit more ill so I can feel a little less sick.
Seriously, this situation is funny given how much hassle I went through just to stop the medication. Again. How many times have I switched medication in the last three years? I’ve lost track.
However, sub-q injections have their perks. I no longer have to schedule off from work, I do not have to have to drive to my doctor’s office and sit with an IV in my arm, I do not have to sleep all day.
I’ll take it.
Hi, my names Monica and I have RA. H