So, I really really really REALLY hate needs. I cannot reiterate this enough. Something happened to me and I don’t know what. When I was younger and I had blood tests done (I had a lot of them when I had a bout of fainting spells) and then I gave blood and never had a problem. I would watch the nurses put the needle in, watch the tubes filling up and keep a smile on my face.
Then something happened.
I’m not sure exactly what but it was as if a switch was flipped. bam. I went from “stab me” Meghan to “black out” Meghan. I can’t do it. I hate needles. I can’t watch. I see the nurse grab the little tubes to fill and I get sweaty and anxious and light-headed. I get sick to my stomach. And, I usually pass out… at least when something is removed from my body. Sometimes even when they don’t take blood! When I was in college, I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. I passed out before the anesthesia needle hit my skin. They had to bring me back with smelling salts just to put me back under. Couldn’t they have just done it while I was out? ;0)
Regardless, this is my life now. So, you can imagine how unhappy I was when I had to get blood tests at my Rheumy appointment two weeks ago. Then, I had to get dye injected for my MRIs. Now, on Tuesday, I had to get a freaking TB test. I HATE needles. I know I can’t really complain because a lot of people have it worse than me, but I hate it and I feel for anyway who has to get pricked. Here’s my latest prickling:
So where does this bring me to? I had my follow up appointment with my Rheumatologist. He was pretty nice- he doesn’t seem overly knowledgeable about AS, but he told me that once we figure out a proper course of medication, I can get back to running. So that makes me love him. He gave me a pamphlet of information and told me that I should start Physical Therapy again (I don’t enjoy PT, but maybe this time I will?) and that the PT will help me figure out some breathing exercises and back exercises to help out. He said I should also be exercising because mobility is key (shout out to World Arthritis Day’s theme, Move to Improve).
Then we get to medication. So there are several types of medications out there, some are anti-inflammatories and they seem to not really be helping me at all. So then you move up to Tumor Necrosis Factors. They’re super drugs! Haha, no but they are used to treat Rheumatoid arthritis. So, at my appointment, my Rheumy decided that the best course of action as far as pain medication is to try out these TNF medications. He has prescribed Enbrel (Etanercept). I’ll spend a post on it later. Right after he prescribed it, he let me know that I should get the TB test and then come back in on Friday so that I could learn how to use the Enbrel because it’s injected twice a week either in the abdomen or the thigh.
I’m sorry, WHAT?!?! I hate needles. Now I have to inject crap into my body twice a week. And I have to refrigerate the medicine/injectors. I’m going to be that girl on the plane with a little cooler of needles. Awesome. This sucks. For the first time, I can say, this honestly sucks. I went home after my appointment, exhausted, in pain, and worn out. That was the first time I actually broke down and cried. Not for long and not very strongly, but I did.
Here is where I have a nice little shout out to Mariah Zebrowski at From this Point. Forward. She is Andrew’s sister-in-law and was diagnosed with RA a three (?) years ago. We were just talking about it and she mentioned that I was braver than her about finding out. I remarked that it’s probably because it hasn’t sunk in yet. Well, I think it is starting to… I really thought I’d go to the doctor’s office and he’d say he screwed up the results. Oh well. Life goes on. On to the next chapter of my life.