Monday, February 17, 2014

Cimzia Week 1

Well so far a whole lot of light side effects and not much benefit.  It may be doing some for my skin as the deep cracks that were on my knuckles have started to heal and no new ones have appeared, but that could also be just the normal cycle of flare and heal that is psoriasis.  None of my other psoriasis seems to be improving so I'm leaning toward just the normal cycle and nothing to do with Cimzia.

As for side effects go the only one I am positive is a side effect is the nagging headache I've had since the day after I took the shot.  Not migraine, not stress, not even distracting enough to stop life, but none the less nagging and irritating.  Everything else could very well be flare related or even Cimzia induced flare.  Tendons and ligaments are feeling strained and inflamed.  Not the actual joints, but the soft tissue. I can actually see the inflammation on my  knees, some of my fingers, and toes. The Costochondritis is irritated as well and it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and a deep breath is just not going to happen.  This goes along with tendon and ligament inflammation, but is additional irritation.  Nausea is worse than normal still.  I'm fairly sure my kidneys are joining the fun because I ache in their general area.  Not bad enough to raise red flags, but enough again to be unpleasant.  When I get up in the morning my glands in my neck have been swollen and my throat feels raw.  As the day goes on the swelling goes down a little and my throat doesn't feel as irritated, but it never really gets back to normal.  My fatigue is also much higher especially the last few days.  I try to push through it, but this morning it got the best of me.  I did the "I'll just lay down for a few minutes" routine and 3 hours later I woke up startled thinking I'd slept through a week.

All this besides the headache, nausea , swollen glands and sore throat could be attributed to a flare or they could be side effects to Cimzia.  It's really hard to tell.  Right now nothing is so out of the norm to throw up the big red flags that Humira and Simponi did, but nothing is looking positive yet.  I take my next double loading dose of 2 shots next Monday and another one 2 weeks later.  IF I make it to that point it is possible that some of these symptoms will mellow once I start on a standard dose of 1 shot per month.

Of course with me being unassigned at the VA Rheumatology clinic no one has called to check on my progress or difficulties.  It's a change from my past Rheumatology doctors.  I've always had nurses and or specialists who made sure I was ok.  Checking in every few days after first starting my meds and every week or two for a few months after starting.  Especially with my history of failure and complications it's concerning that the level of care I have gotten at the Phoenix VA Rheumatology department is the level it is.  

So there you have it.  No real news is not good or bad news.  It's just another day on the Cimzia ride.