It’s treatment day. You’re ready for some relief even if it is just for a day or two. As you prepare yourself you remember that in a few hours you will have to first experience some uncomfortable side effects, but try to remember it will be worth it when you can walk without feeling like you just got beat up in a bar room brawl due to your Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.
Whether you’re in an infusion room or do an injection at home I now know the side effects don’t discriminate on location. The list can include; serious infections, compromised immune system, headache, blood disorders, nervous system disorders, allergic reactions, Lupus-like syndrome, Psoriasis, weight gain, weight loss, rash, abdominal pain, nausea, injection site pain, diarrhea, bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, mouth ulcers, hair loss, bone marrow suppression, liver problems, risk of cancer, kidney failure or even heart failure. Yet even with this long list most AS patients come to a point to try anything to relieve the pain. Sure there are NSAIDs, DMARDs and “tips” on how to relieve some of the pain without having to start an advanced drug and/or TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor alpha) blockers but unfortunately for some, those aren’t enough.
We Make The Choice
I did weigh the pros and cons but knew if I were going to fight this head on I had to do whatever was in my power to try and move forward. We didn’t “choose” to have AS but we sure can “choose” to fight it. We may not be able to control the outcome but knowing every effort is given to at least try is a success in itself. We may have a disease that leaves us powerless in so many ways but treatment is ours to rule.
A Plethora To Get It Right
It may take 1, 2 or even 3 to find some relief. For some AS’ers, no drugs will ever work but again, we get to the point where we at least want to try. I tried Remicade first and it ended up causing more bad then good for me. I now have a blood disorder but it is monitored and I can keep moving forward. I’ve had my first Humira injection and quickly learned I still have my same side effects. Every AS patient has a different list of side effects. Mine last for 2-4 days. I get a killer headache, nausea, stomach issues, a rash and my hair has thinned a lot. They seem like the longest days, but I hope that relief will be the end result so I try to keep positive although during the moment it can be really hard. I did experience some relief between my 5th and 6th Remicade infusions for about a week each time but my 7th and 8th were of no success and then the blood disorder came about so it was time to move on. I’m optimistic that Humira will work eventually. I figure at this point I have no reason not to believe. I have only had one treatment with it so I will give it time. I think one of the things that keep me going is the hope that I will not necessarily be pain-free, but one day be relieved of some.
Share With Me
AS’ers: Do you have side effects after treatment? What helps to relieve some of your side effects?
Support System: How do you deal with your loved one’s side effects?