The Enbrel Protocol

So I had to miss a friend’s wedding social last night but alas life is often a delicate balance between what I want to do vs what my body can take.

Doesn’t make me thrilled to have missed it at all because I’ve known the groom for years. He’s one of those friends where if  you need anything he’d be there to give a hand even if you haven’t talked in a year or two.

When I started Enbrel last fall I has a long list of things to do to take care of myself. One of these things was if I felt so much as a tickle in my throat or aches or anything that could be seen as a symptom of an infection I have to be seen by a Dr within 24 hours and I pretty much need to hibernate until I do see someone.

So here I am pretty much confined to the company of my family only because well let’s face it if I am infected then they are probably already carrying whatever it is that I have to share or because they are the outbreak monkey that brought it home.

I swear sometimes I think about investing in a nice bubble to keep myself in.

Of course this is all tied into being an auto-immune arthritic.

So in non medical terms…my immune system is bat shit crazy and thinks that I am a virus unto myself.

In return I nuke my immune system into complacency two times a week with Methotrexate on Wednesdays and Enbrel on Saturdays.

It’s a completely screwed up love/hate relationship my white blood cells and I have with each other. Sadly I see no happy ending where we realize all the good we love about each other and agree that we will get through this life together as a team. My immune system is going to keep trying to kill me whenever it can and I am going to continue to menace it with the finest pharmaceutical solutions Big Pharma can give me.

I’ve just realize that my immune system is the Moriarty to my Holmes.

I’m my own nemesis engaged in an eternal struggle of dominance…

I should have suspected something was up when I hit the wall some time Friday. I tend to push myself to the limit on a regular basis because I decided long ago that I was going to be the one to control my fate not my disease. It got to call the shots for a really long time so I figured it is my turn to call shots for a while and so I have but every once in a while my body asserts its will and when that happens I’ve come to term it as hitting the wall. Mostly because I seem to come to a dead stop in the middle of my life…like driving into a wall at NASCAR it is a complete stop.

So Friday I hit the wall and Saturday I feel the effects of it leaving me with no choice on Saturday night to enact The Enbrel Protocol of not leaving the house unless I absolutely have to until I can see a medical professional which is an adventure in and of itself.

I hate breaking in new Drs that are unfamiliar with my medical history, explaining that I have arthritis, that I have hip replacements, that I take Enbrel, that I take Methotrexate and all I really need it to be checked and prescribed anything if required. No, I haven’t got a fever and if I do you might want to add Prednisone to my prescription because fevers are not a sign of infection as much as it is a sign of flare up and inflammation. No, I don’t get fevers when I have infections because I am nuking the body’s ability to produce a fever as a sign of infection. Yes, I’m aware that exercise is beneficial to arthritis patients and I do what I can when I can. Excuse me Dr but perhaps before you lecture me on how I need to be doing more in your strong medical opinion that you stay up for 3 days straight with a side of stomach flu and see how much working out you get done cause right now that’s how I’m feeling like I haven’t slept in 3 days with side effects that aren’t fun for anyone.

I also don’t discount that there is always an emotional factor to my illness and when I hit the wall my emotions are always hightened. Mostly because I fear being back in the hallway…that hallway haunts me.

This past Monday’s episode of House shook me to the core which isn’t rare as it often does because well when your health has had House-ian moments it often can hit too close for comfort. If you haven’t watched and are a House fan spoiler alert for you. The scene where House tells Wilson that the chemo is killing him and Wilson tells House he’s not going to the hospital because he didn’t want to die there or in the ambulance was almost more than I could bare to watch. Kevin looked at me and commented that he’d been there and had a similar conversation in a time not too long ago and I cried uncontrollably.

Now time to rest, and recover which would be steps 2 and 3 of  The Enbrel Protocol.


About Shirley Robert

Wife, Mom, Politician, Project Manager, Arthritic, Blue Bomber Season Ticket holder, Mary Kay Rep, and Advocate. I'm a whole lot of different and proud of it! View all posts by Shirley Robert

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