Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reality versus Fantasy

Once upon a time I found a miracle in a pharmaceutical.  It was called Remicade.  I thought things were bad when I started it, and in the grand scope of things up to that date they were bad.  At any rate I went from needing steroid shots into my hips every 3 months, waking up feeling like a steam roller had run me over in my sleep, random swelling making surprise attacks randomly all over my body to feeling rather normal the majority of a time.  That miracle lasted a good 4 years before things started slowly returning.

Because I started Remicade before the inflammation had done major permanent damage returning to functioning and mostly normal was a realistic expectation of a working biological.

Today I am learning the reality of biologicals and Psoriatic Arthritis again, but my reality before is a fantasy today.  Stelara is doing amazing things for me, but unfortunately damage has been done over the last 3 years or so since Remicade quit working.  I have to realize that my normal today is a different normal than it was 5 years ago.

As I spend quite a bit of time watching tv these days the commercials about various biologicals that are treating Psoiratic disease make it appear that is you take these meds you will enter a magical land where you can run marathons, climb trees, paint your house, and dance all night when you take these miraculous cures to an incurable disease.  I understand this is part of the ugly machine that has become our necessary dance with big pharma.  They are in it for a profit, and any of you who have looked at your insurance claims know they are making HUGE money off of these treatments.  I just feel that someone needs to include a little reality with the pharmacy fantasy.

I have been very fortunate that I have had a few very good Rheumatologists who have given me the courtesy of being realistic with me, and giving me a little come to Jesus lecture about my sometime unrealistic expectations of my body and my treatments.  I just hope other Rheumatologists include the same amount of reality into their counseling on using biologicals.  It is however such a fine tuned dance between being realistic, being fatalistic, and being overly expectant and hopeful.