Voila. The big shot.
Ok, it’s not *that* big. Actually, the needle itself seems only a little longer and thicker than my old insulin syringes, but with Cimzia it is much more volume and the solution is much thicker..
I started Cimzia last Saturday and so far I have nothing to report, though I have been asleep for most of the past 48 hours, I have stubborn headache, and my appetite is ravenous and then non-existent, which is a change for me as my appetite has been mostly non-existent for a few years now.
I’m in the loading/onboarding phase of this medication and hopefully will start seeing results in the next couple of weeks. Fingers metaphorically crossed and hopefully they will be literally crossable when this stuff kicks in and works it’s magic.
The syringes are pretty cool. I know that probably sounds a little freakish, but I have a thing for good design, and OXO Good Grips teamed up with the Cimzia people to design a syringe so not only could patients administer the meds at home, but as most of the patients that use Cimzia have RA which often results in limited dexterity and hand strength, syringe design is one of those things that should have been important to other manufacturers, but it seems that the Cimzia peeps were the first to run with it. AND I’m all about looking at the bright side of things we can’t just ignore- so boohoo I have to take yet another freaking needle, but yay! it totally makes my inner design geek squeal with delight.
And they just plain look cool. They are definitely easier to use and I am glad I had my doc request self-administration with my pre-qualification for this medication. I just can’t see traveling 30+ minutes each way, to the cancer center, to pay a copay and have the nurse inject this stuff. I have 17 years of needle experience under my belt, thanks to diabetes, so another subQ shot is no biggie for me (though if it was IM I would have the baldguy do it for me, or I’d suck it up and get a ride to the cancer center which is just something I do not need in my day when I have less than even low energy).
I was nervous about adding on a biologic/anti-TNF med as I had such a lousy experience when the last new med we added onto the methotrexate almost did me in (Plaquenil, due to G6PD deficiency), but after a brief 3 weeks off RA meds and a rapid return of the more painful symptoms, I knew that this was the next logical step as far as regaining some quality of life. I do know there are risks involved with all of this, but RA is not “wear and tear” arthritis, it’s systemic and it does have, at least for me, a larger impact than just some achy joints or not being able to go running. If it was just an issue of discomfort, I’d suck it up. I have a high tolerance for pain and I have lived with major osteoarthritis damage in my spine since I was 19. But RA destroyed the mobility in my hips. They don’t hurt anymore, but I can’t move them much either, then again the loss of mobility/range of motion is easier to accept than the idea of putting myself through two more major surgeries at this point in my life. RA messed up my vision due to inflammation and made breathing without discomfort a serious challenge over the past year due to inflammation in my ribs. I quit smoking almost 4 years ago and oh the irony that something else would screw up my breathing, right? Doesn’t matter, I’m glad that I did quit because all of the toxic substances in a pack of smokes would make things worse now and for the future. And I smell so much nicer, so I get more of the sweet snuggles from my kiddo, which keeps my spirits up.
Anyway, enough of my babble for tonight… I’ve got to go catch up on some sleep as I have been awake for a whole 5 hours. Joking. I am happy to be awake, but I don’t want to overdo it or I’ll knock out for the whole weekend. I’m learning, slowly but surely, to pace myself.