Going Back to Biweekly Humira Shots
I thought I could handle just doing one Humira shot a month. I thought I could make myself less vulnerable to the side effects, bad feelings after each shot, potential financial burden, and insurance snafus with a medication like this.
However, after listening to my body and in consultation with my rheumatologist, I recognized that I needed to go back to biweekly Humira shots. I'm going to delve into the conversations, thoughts, and more that led to this decision.
Physical concerns that affected my decision
I started feeling more RA symptoms from not taking my Humira biweekly. I would wake up in the morning and have pain in my wrists and ankles. It felt like RA was starting to slowly consume my body again, taking every ounce of freedom, energy, good feelings, and more from my body.
Then came the massive amount of fatigue that is always associated with having RA. I started coming home, crashing on the bed, taking a nap for a few hours, and then waking up to do more work again. Before, I could come home and just relax, not sleep.
Mental side effects of my medication changes
But there were also mental side effects to this. Because I was so attuned to my body and could feel the negative effects of RA starting again, I started feeling like life was worthless; that all I would ever feel in life was pain.
All these really negative and dark thoughts kept me from living my full life and completing my school work (in addition to the fatigue mentioned above). Returning to this state of physical and mental distress felt incredibly defeating.
Finding inner peace despite RA challenges
But, not to only dwell on the negative: because I am what I call a seasoned RA experiencer, I now have more tools and knowledge at my disposal to challenge the physical and mental side effects I’m experiencing as I get back to taking Humira twice a week now.
I know to not overextend myself when I’m feeling tired. I also know to not compare myself to my friends or other people my age who seem to be accomplishing more than I am. This has probably been the most difficult thing for me, as I’m a perfectionist and want to accomplish everything. I also know to be kind and generous to myself in the ways that I know I should be because, at the end of the day, I have one life to live. In such precarious times as ours, I’m finding that I need to reprioritize—yet again—to find inner peace and comfort with myself.
I made the best decision for my body
Why is that so difficult? I think there are a lot of reasons. Our current system is set up to favor productivity over our bodies, safety, and security. It’s not that working is bad; it’s the extent to which it takes over our lives. It doesn’t have to be this way.
So, all of this to say: my experience and decision to go back to biweekly Humira shots does not come without its consequences and difficulties. But I do believe that it is the best decision for me at this time in order to feel better.
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