Monday, February 24, 2014

Cimzia Dose 2...DAY 14

Today is dose 2.  I took the plunge, and took pics.  Those of you that are squeemish will want to avoid the pics.  I will be sure to put them all the way at the bottom :)

So as for progress so far, side effects have been pretty minimal compared to other biologicals and DMARDs I've taken.  There is more nausea than usual, but nausea is a pretty normal part of life for me on any of the meds.  I had a pretty much nonstop headache for the first week after the first dose, and as the last week has passed the nagging headache has come and gone, but again it's more of an irritant than what I would call bad.  I have noticed some neurological issues over the last few weeks, shaking, brain fog, and hot flashes/chilled moments.  My honey says I sweat like crazy at night which isn't normal, but I'm not sure if that's me or just because he's hot.  I have always had a bit of a problem with keeping my internal temps stable and am prone to either feeling like I'm in a sauna or freezer, but it has seemed much more pronounced over the last few weeks.  The shaking is mostly isolated to my hands and not severe, but it makes people who notice it uncomfortable at times.  I am also having pretty sporadic fatigue, but since that's a normal part of Psoriatic Life it's also not a huge deterrent.

Now to how I'm improving.  My skin seems to be healing.  If you follow the blog or our Facebook page you remember how a few weeks ago my hands were having a severe winter flare with cracking and inflammation from the psoriasis.  Any bending of my hands resulted in the skin cracking and bleeding and at the worst of it, just the inflammation of the skin over the knuckles was causing splitting.  Here is my right hand (which was the worst) 2 days ago.

I am also noticing other skin areas starting to clear as well so fingers crossed.  My inflammation is down (in my opinion), but that seems to be a bit of a mixed blessing.  My overall pain levels are down, but that inflamed tissue is no longer giving cushion to my already damaged joints so those joints (knees, shoulders, hands, feet, hips) are having grinding and pain in a different way.  I sound kind of like a broke down terminator going up and down the stairs.  Now keep in mind that for the last 4 years stairs were pretty much not an option so that I can actually do stairs is improvement. YEAH!  I have had a small amount of Pustular patches trying to pop up, but they get to the bumpy and tender stage and seem to reabsorb into my system.  The bottoms of my feet look like I've taken a cheese grater to them, but they don't hurt and have had no eruptions.  My palms have also had a few rising pustules, but no eruptions and no skin shedding.

So for those who want to see the shot pictures here we go.  For those that are sensitive to anything needles stop looking now.

The packaging.  Each box comes with 2 preloaded syringes.  Loading doses are done at week 0, week 2, week 4 and are 2 syringes.  After that it is based on your dr's recommendation.  Mine is starting with 1 shot/month after the loading cycle is complete.

Yet that's my belly fat.  I think the needle is much bigger than any other previous shots I've had to self administer, but it's been a while since I've dosed anything so it could just be my imagination.  I find giving the shots in my stomach is much less uncomfortable than doing it in my thigh, but it's all personal preference.

Back of packaging.  For manufacture questions (if any of you need to speak to someone before starting this) there's the number for you.

The actual syringes before shooting it in my fat belly.  The white part with the open circle is the cap, black and white plunger end is for "ease of use" along wit the finger grasp black arch.

So you can see the size.  I'd say I have average sized hands (about the length of a dollar bill from wrist to finger tip)

Bleeding off the air bubble

Just a close up artsy fartsy pic because I can :)


So there you have it.  I'll be back in a week or so for a week 3 update unless something drastic happens between now and then.  Still not a peep from the VA Rheumatology department to see if/how things are progressing.  Government run healthcare FTL!

Blessings and Joy!

~Heather