Tag Archives: ulcerative colitis

Getting Better; Moving On

welcomebackMy last post was April 28th. It’s so hard to believe it’s been that long already. I’d hoped to do a better job documenting how things were going, but honestly, I just haven’t felt up to it until recently. If good things come to those who wait, I should really be due some amazing stuff soon….

In my last post, I talked a little about my battle with ulcerative colitis. I’m still battling through the same flare up, but things are finally getting a little better. First of all, I finally had to switch doctors. I simply felt I wasn’t getting the care I needed and that’s the nice thing about having options: there’s always the possibility for second opinions.

The 6-MP still makes me nauseous, but not nearly to the extent it did when I first started taking it. I’m hoping to taper off that sooner rather than later. My new doctor, after countless screens, scopes, and tests, decided to bring out the big guns, medically speaking, and try some biologic medication. If you’ve seen ads on TV for Humira, you’ve at least heard of biologics before. I’m now taking something similar to Humira called Simponi, which I give myself via injections once a month (after this month; the first month, you have to give yourself two injections).

Humira and Simponi belong to a family of drugs called TNF-blockers that work by directly affecting your immune system. Since ulcerative colitis (like rheumatoid arthritis) is an autoimmune disease, these drugs go in and try to tame the immune system to get it to stop attacking the body. I gave myself my first injection on Wednesday. I’ll spare you the details, but it seems like the drug might already be working. Even if it’s just a coincidence, the small improvement in my symptoms is certainly welcome.

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A Sick Foreseeable Future

daily pillsI’ve mentioned recently (and elsewhere) that I’ve been dealing with a lot of chronic health issues. They are pretty much a void in which all of my time and energy have been getting slowly sucked away. My health has caused me to miss more work than I have in the last six months than the past six years combined. They’ve caused near paralysis with my writing and have prevented me from even leaving the house much. It feels like there is not a lot I can do but write about them as I make my stand.

I’m 32-years-old, but you’d never guess if you saw my medical chart. I’ve got an arthritic back, severe ulcerative colitis (UC), IBS, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, Celiac Disease, a tree nut allergy, allergies to most things that grow on trees (including most trees, themselves), generalized anxiety disorder, clinical depression, extreme ADD, and insomnia. The picture above is the minimum number of pills I have to take on any given day. The problem(s) lie in that the treatment of some of these issues results in complications with others.

Around the end of September of 2013, my UC began to flare up again. It progressively got worse despite the treatment I’d undergone since my diagnosis. My gastroenterologist prescribed more powerful mesalamine drugs (Lialda, Asacol, and Apriso), but each of them failed to work to expectations and came with an alarming side effect of their own: severe chest pains. The doctors had me stop taking the mesalamine because in some cases, it can cause pericarditis, a condition in which the sac-like covering around the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed.

I’m still having some residual chest pains from the mesalamine; I need to schedule an appointment to have an EKG done to see if my heart got fucked up or not. So that’s something fun to look forward to.…

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