I started my Enbrel shots again last week. I forgot how much I hate them. Not that I’m complaining. Thank God for Enbrel! But I have always had a very bad phobia of needles. Its completely irrational. I’m not afraid of the pain. Its…..I’m not exactly sure. But I think it’s just the fact that there is a stick of metal poking through skin, muscles, veins, fat, etc. Ugh. I can hardly think about it.
When I was younger I was much worse. It was sort of humiliating really. One time me and my three siblings and very young cousin were at the doctors getting some shot and at one point I ended up on the floor with my feet up trying to fight off a nurse. And that was extremely unlike me. My dad ended up having to hold my arms down. I think I was about six. Afterwards, my three year old cousin sat down very calmly and rolled up her sleeve and let them stick her. I had other shots through the years. None of them had any better results.
I was in a bad car accident once. I was in the passenger side when a truck hit the passenger side of our car going 55 miles an hour. The back of my head was split open and it took 8 staples to close it up. I was ok through the whole thing, but I broke down like a baby when they had to give me the shot to numb my head so they could give me the stitches. It doesn’t even make sense. I couldn’t even feel the needle through the pain of a split open noggin. But that didn’t stop me from breaking into hysterics. I was 18 at the time.
So when I got sick, you can imagine how I felt when they started drawing blood. It took me soooo long to even let the nurse near me. I would be all worked up and then they would draw so much that I would puke every time.
Eventually, when I was at a very low time I agreed to start taking methotrexate in an injectable form instead of pills because it was supposed to be more effective. And it is. But I still cant do it to myself. I have on several occasions. But its never gotten easier. It only gets harder. And it takes me longer and longer to psyche myself out. Sometimes I literally sit there for hours trying then putting it down, trying again. I get so frustrated with myself. Then I start crying. Sort of pathetic really. I don’t know what I do wrong, but almost every time I do it myself I end up with a huge dark purple bruise and it hurts like hell. I have a friend who is in nursing school who gives it to me now.
The extra weight has helped out a lot too. The extra tummy cushion is great. I literally can not feel the shot. Its the smallest needle known to man too. So easy. As long as I dont do it, that is.
But the Enbrel shot? Man, does it hurt. The needle is a little bigger, and they always feel dull. They come in pre-filled syringes. And it is like injecting acid into your body. I mean, it burns like liquid fire. But only for a minute or two. Afterwards, there is almost always a large red raised area. It usually last a day or two. And it’s all well worth it. That is of course, as long as I don’t have to do it myself.
Anyways, last time I was on Enbrel, it took about three months to feel any results, but even after just three months, my inflammation markers were normal for the first time in years. That is really a miracle. I had to stop taking it because it caused psoriasis. But at this point, we are not going to worry about that. I just need something to happen. So, I am back on it, and I feel a small improvement already.
My steroid dose is down to 15 mg a day. Which has made my white blood count go down, but my inflammation markers to go up.
I’m also off of sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquin. I would have thought I’d feel horrible this week, but I think the Enbrel is already kicking in. Im hopeful.