Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dear Santa: Please Bring Enbrel

It's been a while since we've had a pharmacy fail adventure around here! But we had another - just in time for Christmas!

My insurance requires me to order my Enbrel from a specialty pharmacy. This means that once a month I get on the phone with the pharmacy, answer two dozen questions (I have no idea why they ask me every single month instead of, you know, keeping it in a file or something), and arrange for an overnight shipment of Enbrel. I get four pens at a time.

Last Monday, I took my last dose of Enbrel and immediately called the pharmacy for a refill. They said I had no more refills and that they would need to get authorization from my doctor and call me back. Now, here's the part that is my mistake - I should have called to nag them the very next day, but with all the holiday preparations it totally slipped my mind. They didn't call back until Thursday. Still, they assured me my Enbrel would arrive on Friday.

It didn't arrive. Obviously. 

I was quite worried. I really didn't want to miss a dose and feel crummy (i.e. crummier) on Christmas. So I called the pharmacy. They were closed for the weekend. Finally I found a customer service number that was open and called them. They said the package would arrive on Monday. That worried me too, because at that point the Enbrel would have been out of the fridge for five days. Would the Enbrel be ok? They didn't know. They gave me a UPS tracking number and told me to call the pharmacy on Monday.

I entered the tracking number on the UPS website. "Your package is on its way." Not very specific. I called UPS. "Due to the high number of calls we are currently receiving, we cannot take your call right now." They hung up. I understand that UPS was very busy with holiday packages - but this is my medicine! It's very important! Do you really mean I can't talk to a human about it?!? 

In the end, was completely unable to get any useful information from anyone. I had to settle for crossing my fingers that the Enbrel would (1) actually arrive on Monday and (2) still be safe to take so I wouldn't miss a dose. And, like a small Christmas miracle, it actually did arrive - ice packs still frozen. I finally spoke to the pharmacy and they assured me that UPS kept the package in a refrigerator over the weekend. 

So I was able to take my dose of Enbrel and have a very lovely first Christmas with OZL!! A happy ending!! I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas too!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Healthline's Best Health Blogs of 2012 Contest

Recently this blog won an award for being one of the 22 Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs of 2012.

Now I've been nominated for Healthline's Best Health Blogs of 2012! First prize wins $1,000, which APL and I would happily spend on OZL (babies are expensive, man!) 

I would really, really appreciate your vote!! You can vote once a day until February 15, 2013. Click here to vote - or use the badge on the menu that says "Vote for Me!" Thank you!!

Friday, December 21, 2012


DISCLAIMER: I received this product sample unsolicited and for free - and promised to review it completely honestly without receiving compensation. For details, please see my Product Review Policy.

Of the many frustrations I experience being a mom with RA, one of the worst is hand pain. When my hands hurt it just seems like caring for OZL becomes a lot more difficult. All his stuff is just so....little! All the little clothes and bottle parts and diapers and tiny-things-that-need-manipulating-with-my-sore-fingers. And all those annoying snaps. They. Are. On. EVERYTHING!

Which is why I was particularly grateful to find out that some baby pajamas come with zippers. On the ones I found, the zipper started in the middle of the collar and zipped all the way down one leg. This means that you have to shove the baby's other leg all the way down the side without the zipper, which can be a bit difficult with a wiggly baby. But it's still a lot easier than snapping a million and a half snaps - especially in the middle of the night or early in the morning when I am the most sore!

Then I got an email from Nicole about Zippy Suits. She thought her design could be a big help for parents with arthritis, so she sent me one to try. And she was right! Unlike my other zipper pajamas, Zippy Suits zip across the legs along the inseam - like those pants that have snaps for "easy" changing. Only is a zipper for actual easy changing! The zipper has a velcro cover to protect it from exploratory little hands and the fabric is super soft, 100% cotton. You have to pull the suit over the baby's head to put it on, which at first I thought might be tricky, but it turns out the folds in the collar make it quite easy. OZL seems to find it very comfy. Plus, it is adorable! All in all, we love our Zippy Suit!

NOTE: Zippy Suits are made in the UK and I found that the sizes were a bit bigger than US sizes I was used to. For example, OZL's Zippy Suit is size 6-9 months and still fits him with room to grow - whereas he is already wearing 12 months in most US brands.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jingle All The Freezing Way!!

Today we braved the 20 degree weather to participate for the third time in the Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis! I am super excited to report that we had our biggest Team Z yet - 18 adults, 1 kid, 3 babies, and 2 dogs!!

I did almost the whole 5K despite my sore knee (I must admit that I took a slight shortcut at the end because OZL, despite being bundled like an eskimo, was getting cold and hungry). I'm so grateful to all my friends for coming out today to support me despite the freezing weather!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pop Goes The Kneesel (Again)

Remember when this happened? Well the other day it happened again. I was at my sister's apartment and we were making dinner. We were listening to music, but then decided to put Funny Girl on instead. I sat down on the floor in front of the TV to put the movie on and then got back up - no problem. 

But as I walked over to turn the music off suddenly my knee gave out and I was on the floor in tears. Just like last time. Only this time I was carrying OZL when it happened.

Luckily he was strapped to me in the BabyHawk, so I didn't drop him or hurt him or anything. But he did get pretty scared as we fell to the floor. My sister rushed over and took him from me and he calmed down in a minute or two. And with some ice, some rest, a knee brace, and lots of advil my knee is doing ok too. It still hurts but I can walk on it and everything. So everyone is fine.

But it is a little scary to think about the what ifs. What if this had happened when I was carrying OZL down the stairs? What if I had been alone? Or in the grocery store? What if I had dropped him or he had gotten hurt? 

I guess it doesn't help to get to freaked out over things that haven't happened. Things that hopefully will never happen. But it does make you think. Being a parent means being as careful and prepared as you can be, but it also means being ready to deal with the unexpected. I guess being a parent with arthritis just makes things a little bit more unexpected.