Happy Saturday! A little "Silence of the Lambs" humor with my tea and morning smoke. I'm sitting on my patio with FAB (Fat Ass Bitch aka Thunder the cat) enjoying a "cool" August Texas morning. As I'm telling her to stop chasing the geckos I look down and realize my big toe is somehow different. Still being a bit flared up from yesterday's arthritis bout my flexibility is pretty limited, but my lasik perfected eyes definitely notice something. I sit in my chair, and lean over to get a closer look. OH MY GOD! There's NO Psoriasis on THAT toe!
Now I realize to those of you who don't have Psoriasis and just read this to be amused by my comical musings that this may not seem like such a big deal, but this is HUGE. I have Psoriasis everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. Of the 4 main recognized forms of Psoriasis I have 3 at any given time and often all at the same time. This toe a week ago was covered in scales.
Most of us have had acne at some point in our lives. Imagine you suddenly woke up one day and you were broke out in the worst way ALL over your face. I don't mean that monthly geyser you get on your forehead, or the occasional spot because you're stressed or have been eating too much fried food. I mean everywhere. You try everything to get rid of the acne. You do all the over the counter and old wives tales. Your friends send over the witch hazel, aspirin masks, advise you to drink more water. You even go to the dermatologist for the $100 cream that clears everyone up. All this and nothing improves. You go months, years with the zits of Olympus all over your face. Your friends are kind enough to look past it, and still offer some nugget of advice they happen to run across on the Internet or see on a late night commercial. Even with all their support and good intentioned advice you can still see the pity in their faces. You still are mortified to look at your own face even with a level of acceptance that it isn't your fault and there really isn't a lot you can do about it. Now one day your doctor calls and announces the newest greatest medical breakthrough of all time. He tells you all the great and wonderful things about it. It will clear up your face, it will keep you from getting another volcanous breakout, and you only have to do it once a week. Oh boy this sounds awesome! I gotta have this! I may have some scarring to cover up, but I might just get my beautiful face back! So you agree that this is the thing you must have. Now comes the bad news. Firstly, you will have to do this medication for the rest of your life or till your body decides it just doesn't like it anymore. Oh and then there's the cost. It's a mere $1000 a treatment and your insurance only covers 80%. Yes that's $1000/wk. Then come the potential side effects. It is really hard on your liver, your risk of infection is increased a lot, it can cause blood cancers with prolonged use. That's just a few on the shopping list of horrors. You think about it long and hard and decide it's worth the risk. You invest in the first month of treatment and hope for something, anything to improve. Then about a week into your treatment you notice that the whole section from the edge of your eyebrow to your ear is completely clear of zits. Most people won't notice the difference because there is so much eruptive pus on the rest of your face, but YOU notice it, and it's HUGE.
This is kind of how it feels to realize I have no psoriasis on my big toe. I started Humira a little over a week ago and it's the first real indication it is causing an impact on my condition. This isn't my first ride on the Biological roller coaster. I have tried Enbrel and it was too devastating on my immune system so I would get pneumonia every time I heard someone sneeze. Even if it was over the phone. I had a successful run with Remicade for about 5 years. It stopped working on my joints even at the max dose and frequency so I decided it wasn't worth the risks. I've been biological free for a little over a year and the Dr thought we should try Humira. I haven't noticed any bad side effects yet so that's positive. I do miss my Jack and Diet Coke, but if it will help I'll sacrifice that until we find out how it's messing with my liver. This is my last option for biologicals. There is one more on the market, but it's still pretty new and my insurance won't cover it yet. Essentially it's my last hope for a while.
Here's to hope inspired by my big toe! What a beautiful big toe it is!
Information on Enbrel
Information on Remicade