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Showing posts from November, 2015

Bringing Out the Big Guns (or Shots Anyways)

As I mentioned in a previous update, a couple month ago my joints started flaring badly. This is definitively on of the worse flares I have ever been in if not the worst. After a burst of prednisone did not stop it (well it helped till I weaned off of it) I went to see my rheumatologist.

At the appointment after describing my symptoms she mention Enbrel but wanted to do a physical exam first. If there was obvious signs of inflammation on the exam she would prescribe the medication but if not she was going to send me for an MRI to look for inflammation first. Well by the end of the exam there was no question my joints were not in good shape, Enbrel was prescribed.

We wrapped up the appointment by adding back in some lower dose Prednisone as well. Then the nurse came in to teach me how to do the Enbrel injections, super fun. Overall doing the injections is actually relatively simple.

Now to get down to the nitty gritty of what exactly Enbrel is. The drug is part of a relatively new cla…

The Freedom of my Port

At the end of August I had a Bard Power Port implanted in my chest. After 8 months of weekly schedule infusions and about a year of have almost weekly IVs scheduled or not my veins were becoming less and less usable. I was exhausted too. I was exhausted from my weekly trips to the infusion center, in addition to my normal medical appointments. I was exhausted from still crashing only a few days later from POTS. And I was exhausted from the ER trips that happened when I crashed particularly hard. My cardio did not want me to have a central line but when I came to my appointment mid-August the PA saw my arms that were so beaten up from the failed IV attempts and blown veins coupled with exhaustion from my most recent ER trip and a port was ordered.

The port surgery was at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), since that is where my cardio is. Unlike CHOP they were not as familiar with POTS patients (ironic since that is where I am treated for POTS), so they did not give …