Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Week One, Day One. Today I took my first methotrexate pill. (Why do they make the pills so small when most of the users don’t have the dexterity to pick it up?!?) Today I injected my first shot of Enbrel. I’ve crossed some sort of line into the reality of chronic disease.
I’ve never in my life taken drugs this scary. I was shaking and cranky as I read through the Bible-thick information and instruction packet. I wasn’t afraid of the needle. I was only a little afraid of the poison. I was mostly afraid that my life will never be the same. Three years of this says the rheumatologist (at least, of the methotrexate, hopefully not that much Enbrel? I don't know.) There’s no going back. This RA has become very, very real. Very, very fast.
I shooed my daughter out of the kitchen a moment too late. One should not have to explain to a four year old why mommy needs a shot to feel better. Her therapist will confirm this someday, I’m sure.
“Mommy needs a shot because she’s sick and the shot will help her not to be sore and achy all the time.” The look of fear, surprise, worry, and concern clouded in her big blue eyes will haunt me for some time.
“Will you cry when you get your shot like I do at the doctor’s office?”
“No, Baby, Mommy won’t cry.” Not yet.
So today is not magic. Today is scary. But there are still things to be grateful for.
I am grateful for medicine. My rheumatologist has told me a few times that ten or twenty years ago, my fate with RA would have been very different. He tells me that I would have been sentenced to a life of laying on the sofa eating bonbons and ordering the nanny around. Thank goodness we can avoid that! New treatments and new drugs have really changed the face of RA. No bonbons, no nanny.
I am really grateful for good insurance. The bill on my Enbrel was almost $7000.00. I paid less than $100. I am very grateful for good insurance.
I have actually found a reason to be grateful to have suffered through those weeks of gestational diabetes. Totally comfortable with a needle.
And I am grateful for a sense of humor. Strongly considered posting to Facebook: “Bought $7K of drugs tonight, came home, took some meth and shot up.” Decided it might just be taken a bit out of context. I’ll save that for week two.