Thursday, March 19, 2009

Harry Potter & Me (And the IV)

Since the purpose of Remicade is to confuse your immune system, you aren’t allowed to get an infusion of Remicade if your immune system is currently trying to fight off an infection or illness. So when I got sick last week, I was pretty concerned that I wouldn’t get well in time to get my fifth dose of Remicade.

Luckily, the doctors decided that my cough had subsided enough and I got my fifth dose yesterday. Although it took them two tries to place the IV, the rest of the treatment thankfully went off without a hitch. I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while I was there. I love Harry Potter! It always cheers me up.

My rheumatologist also came down during my treatment to examine my joints and talk about my treatment. This was my second dose of Remicade on the increased dosage, but we decided that it was hard to say whether the increased dosage from last time had actually helped. The past few weeks have been so miserable, what with the saga of my boob wound, getting sick, and having trouble getting out of bed, it’s no wonder I haven’t been feeling that well physically or mentally lately. So I’m going to try to pay close attention to how I am feeling physically for the next few weeks to see if the extra Remicade is making a difference.

However, even with the extra Remicade, my rheumatologist concluded that I’m still experiencing moderate disease activity. So we’re going to try adding another medication: doxycycline. It’s actually an antibiotic, but apparently when taken regularly it can help with the treatment of RA. So we’re going to try that for a couple of months. However, it can increase my risk of [WARNING: The remainder of this sentence may contain too much information for you] yeast infections, so if I get a persistent yeast infection then this treatment is a no go.

I’m also happy that the rheumatologist decided to decrease my dose of methotrexate, as that stuff seems to make me really tired and I’ve had so much trouble with fatigue lately. So, all in all, I’m pretty happy with how the visit went. And it’s nice to have some relatively good news, I think.


Rebecca said...

Huzzah for IVs? Ok, maybe we won't go that far--how about huzzah for hope (you can believe in)?

Sorry to politicize your blog. ;)

~kelly marie~ said...

I am glad you were able to get your Remicade treatment (and watch HP!) and that you are starting to feel better from your cold! I am glad they are reducing the amount of your methotrexate. I bet that will definitely help with fatigue.

I will be crossing my fingers for this new med!

~Mariah~ said...

Thanks for the support, girls. ~;o)