on Humira. Not quite so fun as getting loaded on shots of Patron, sorry. Would have been much cooler pictures and funnier video than what you are about to see too.
I first started Humira way back when we lived in Hawaii so .... probably 2007 or 2008-ish. Even if I looked through my medical records I don't think I would be able to find it. I took it as prescribed and was a good little patient for quite sometime. Then we moved off the rock and did some traveling and I fell off the good patient list. And never quite got back on it.
Whenever I would start feeling good I would decide I didn't need to take it anymore and I'd stop. Then I would start feeling really bad and start up again. The cycle would go on. The key to staying in remission is to take the medicine - no matter if you start feeling better or not. Kind of like antibiotics - take the full 10 days even though you start feeling better after day 4.
Fast forward to no medicine working for me (excluding methotrexate which I haven't tried yet) and the decision to have surgery. For those who don't know, EVEN if you have surgery for Crohn's disease and have something removed you will ALWAYS have Crohn's disease. So, no matter WHAT I do - how many surgeries I have and how much of my GI tract I have removed I will still.have.Crohn's.disease. Which means, I will always have the potential for a flare or some manifestation of the disease - which is what is happening right now. I have peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum. Eww. After several failed attempts with antibiotics and topical steroid treatments my GI doc decided to start the Humira again.
Humira is approved for use in a variety of medical conditions. In Crohn's disease TNF (tumor necrosis factor) can attack the GI tract causing inflammation. Humira is a TNF blocker - so it goes out and says "HEY TNF, knock it off!" While Humira is successful in helping a good percentage of Crohn's patients - it comes with its share of risks.
Decreased effectiveness of the immune system and cancer - like basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Check mark that last one for me - I had squamous cell carcinoma on my nostril. It was horrible. Once it was removed I got the all clear. I just had a follow up with dermatology and no signs of anything weird going on anywhere so YAY!
Side effects include - serious infections, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, immune reactions, liver problems and psoriasis.
Injection reactions, headaches, upper respiratory infections, rash and nausea round out the list. Again, check mark that last one. I am the QUEEN of nausea, because jabbing myself with a needle isn't bad enough - I should puke my guts out too. I combat that one with anti-nausea meds and they work just great. Aside from making me a complete zombie the next day.
SO, I made a little "how to" video on Humira injections. It isn't sanctioned, approved, blessed or anything by the makers of Humira so don't run off yelling at them about anything because they have nothing to do with this - it's all me.
Injections can be in the thigh or the abdomen - I've done both and prefer the abdomen. Which is itself a challenge because of my recent surgery there is much less real estate to work with not to mention that you are supposed to give it in this mapped out area around you belly button and .... well .... I'm not so sure WHERE my belly button is these days. So I just wing it.
No cursing or anything this go 'round