Sunday, January 07, 2007


I've never been one to fail. In all of my years in school, I don't think I ever failed anything. Perhaps that is why failing a drug is so disappointing.

I have officially "failed" Enbrel, a biologic response modifier. Almost a year of taking the stuff, and I'm still just as miserable as before, especially in this nasty fluctuating cold/warm, wet weather. I've barely been able to walk from my car to the office for the past few weeks. I gave in to the prednisone urge (there goes my diet), though I'm trying to keep doing tapers instead of getting stuck at 10-20 mg a day for several months (like last year).

This is of course after having failed all of the first line drugs for rheumatic diseases/spondylarthropathies (NSAIDs, plaquenil, azulfidine, methotrexate monotherapy). So, I've not just failed one medication, but a handful of them. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to keep from failing the drugs. If it were a class, I would study harder and for longer periods. I can't make my body respond.

I went to see my rheumatologist on Friday, and he wants to start me on Remicade, another biologic that is given via IV transfusion. So, lucky me, I get to spend a couple of hours in his office getting an IV transfusion of the stuff 3 times over the next month and a half, then once every 8 weeks (as maintenance). I'm optimistic, but after failing, I am hesitant to hope for the best. After all, if I fail this one, I don't have many more options left.

This also raises the question:
How do I tell my boss about my arthritis and the future treatment that it will entail?

I don't really know the answer yet, but it's obvious that I will have to discuss the situation with him since I will be needing time off from work for the transfusions and associated doctor's visits. All this comes as they are considering bringing me on board as a full time employee from a contractor.

The timing is impecccable.


imfunnytoo said...

telling the employer...been there done that, not fun at *all!*

Disgruntled Ladye said...

yeah.. I'm not thrilled. Though, things look to be going down the tubes right now with the whole work situation. I wish I could just quit and go back to grad school... anyway....

any suggestions/tips on breaking the news?