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Thursday, June 08, 2006

On Pins And Needles

We are still piddling with small projects fixing up and repairing and it's those small things that eat up a lot of time. But it's coming along.

Between cleaning out drawers and closets, treating the windows with a heat-resisting film (we hope it works, but we are about to find out) and finding a permanent place for stuff that was scattered all over the house, I had to visit my Rheumatologist for a check-up, yesterday.

Her assistant was going to inquire with the health-insurance, to see if their policy regarding reimbursement for the latest RA-drugs had changed. Last time she did, it was too expensive for us to put me on one of those. And what do you know? God blessed! The policy had changed so much that my lower jaw almost hit the floor, hearing how little our co-pay would be and gave them the green light to go ahead and send us the drug.

"Humira is approved for reducing the signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, slowing the progression of joint damage, and improving physical function in adult patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Humira is also approved for reducing the signs and symptoms of active arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis. Humira can be used alone or with methotrexate or other DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs)."

Yeah, it's send to our home because it's a medication that needs to be kept refrigerated and is given by injection. Injection!! I will have to give myself a shot every two weeks. No big deal, huh? Yeah right. I already freak out watching a needle approaching flesh when on tv. Actually, I don't watch it at all, haha. And now I would have to do that myself. Oh dear, I don't know how that is going to work out.

I am grateful though these meds exist. It will slow down the progression of my RA substantially and might even call it to a halt. That is good news. And I know, God gives what's needed when it's needed !! :-)

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the LORD,And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.


Blogger Seeker said...

Corry, that's good news, indeed! I pray that Humira is able to help you. The injection part may be daunting, but you'll be a pro in no time. It really is not that big a deal. :-)

June 08, 2006 5:27 AM  
Blogger M. C. Pearson said...

How wonderful! I hope it helps. Stick with it! Ha ha ha. ;)

I have an urgent prayer request...please visit my blog for details.

Thanks babe.

June 08, 2006 5:34 AM  
Blogger Corry said...

It is good news and I am so grateful for it. It means it won't get any worse then this and I will be able to do practically almost everything! Praise The Lord!!

A pro in no time, huh? I hope so. I really already get the shivers just thinking about it. I will do my best, otherwise... Kc will have to become the pro, hahaha.

Hahaha, too funny! I will try to "stick" with it.

I am so sorry!! I'll remember them in my prayers and I put up a prayer request for all involved. God bless them!!

God's Grace.

June 08, 2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger audrey` said...

I can feel your pain, lieve zus.
Try to bear with it, ok?
Could KC give you the jab?
Then you need not look at it.

Please take care.

God never fails.
He and His Amazing Grace :)

Ik hou van jou, lieve zus!

June 08, 2006 9:50 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Even though it may be painful, (or not, I guess I will find out soon, haha) I don't really mind that very much. It's only temporary and I can deal with (physical) pain. Just seeing a needle being stuck in the flesh goes so against me that it makes me sick.
I am sure Kc would do it if he would have to, but I don't want to burden him with it. I trust God will give what's needed when it's needed:-)

And I believe Karen when she mentioned there is nothing to it and I will be a pro soon:-)

In case you haven't noticed, this is faith and optimism speaking. I am encouraging myself here, haha.

Ik hou ook van jou, lieve zus. Have a blessed weekend!!!

God's Grace.

June 09, 2006 4:26 AM  
Blogger audrey` said...

I'm so encouraged by you, Corry.
You're indeed a very strong, special and positive lady.
God and we are with you all the way, lieve zus :)

Have a very blessed weekend too.
Take care, dear!

June 09, 2006 7:51 AM  
Blogger Lenise said...

Please let us know how it goes. My rheumatologist wants me to go onto Enbrel if I have any more trouble (she's ok with my staying on 5 mg of prednisone- so far, it seems to be working really well).

June 09, 2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

Corry, your strength inspires me. Yes I often think that medicine is a blessing from God.

June 09, 2006 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corry -

Let me encourage you about the shots. I was a very young woman with 3 little bitty kids when I became diabetic and had to start giving myself injections of insulin every day. It was completely overwheming for me and fright of the worst magnitude.

In fact, I fought it for about 6 months trying pills (that didn't do a thing) and losing a ton of weight before I threw in the towel and plunged into the fray.

That was 36 years ago and you know what? I learned within a very few short years that giving myself shots was the very least of my worries and they didn't hurt a bit. I don't know about your medication, but I would imagine it is much like with insulin and the syringes for that.

Insulin is injected into the subcutaneous tissue (fat!) under the skin with an extremely fine needle and these days you can't feel a thing, except on rare occasion. Now, of course, I have an insulin pump, so I only have to inject myself with a needle initially each time I have to start over with a full reservoir of insulin, which is about once every 4 to 5 days. While it has a larger needle attached to the tubing, you pull the needle out and leave the tiny tubing in the tissue under the skin of your abdomen and you can't feel it at all.

And then there's Tom, who has always been deathly afraid of needles and shots, etc. Several years ago he had to learn, due to life and death necessity situations when my blood sugar dropped so low I could die if not treated, how to mix and give me injections of what they call glucagon. It is a hormone that acts as glucose, or "sugar" to stimulate the liver to produce glucose to elevate my blood sugar levels in my body.

I cannot tell you the number of times he's had to do so, mainly in the middle of the night when I was too far gone (as in incapable of speaking or communicating and on the verge of dying because of lack of glucose in my body from when I'd given myself too much insulin for whatever I'd had to eat or something) and could not eat or drink anything.

Normally, a person's blood sugar level is around 100 (actually a range between 80 and 120, but diabetics must keep their blood sugar a little higher to keep from passing out or "crashing" as I always call it). The loweest he's ever recorded my blood sugar as being on my "sugar checker" machine was 12. It's very scary, although I never know anything about it for about 20 minutes or so later when I finally have enough glucose back in my brain for it to function in any rational way at all.

Believe me, girl, injections (shots) wiil most likely be the very least of YOUR problems, too. Looking back I see so clearly now that they were of no consequence. None whatsoever at all. If that were my only concern these days I would be thrilled to death, I'm telling you. Thrilled.

You'll do fine. Kc will do even better. You have each other and both of you together with God's help will get through this and go on with you feeling much better, I know. Trust me. (Don't you hate people who say trust me? As a rule they aren't trustworthy at all! ha!)

Hope you have a great weekend. And I'm very happy your insurance will pay for this medicine you so need.

Hang in there. It will be okay. Dee

June 09, 2006 11:19 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

I try to be but don't always succeed, haha.
Thanks for your support, dear sis. I appreciate it so much!

I hope you had a very blessed weekend as well:-)

I will keep you updated.
The methotrexate has been doing very well so far, but my rheumy was concerned about the deformations getting worse, even though I am in no pain. I do know though, whenever there is a flare-up, it always causes more damage.

I hope you won't get any more problems and pray you will get better. But if the meds are available to you, it might be worth considering starting them. They can prevent you from alot of pain in the future.

If this is the route God wants me to go, then I know He will provide:-) I may not always like or want it and it may be scary or painful at times, but it will all work out for the best:-)

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I already feel better about it:-)

It's a very fine, thin needle and a "ready to go" syringe. I am sure it will all work out.

It has to be kept in the fridge though, which got us thinking about keeping it cool when the power goes out. Which, as you know too well, happens alot during hurricanes! We don't have a generator, so we have to come up with something but am not sure yet how we are going to handle it.

You sound like my grandpa. He always used to say: never trust people who tell you to trust them, haha. But... there are exceptions:-)

I hope you and Tom have a great and blessed Sunday!

God's Grace.

June 11, 2006 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insulin, once it's opened, needs to be kept refrigerated, too. Although I've never really kept up with that these 36 long years (as my "perfect" younger brother, whose diabetic, always has) and have never had problems, but once.

However, having admitted that, I do keep all of my extra insulin in the fridge and keep my open bottle cool even when traveling. We carry small ice chests in the car with us wherever and whenever we go.

As far as hurricanes - I don't know what options you have, but when we saw how huge Katrina was and aware of what can well happen in even small hurricanes, either both of us, or me, this last time, have left. For Katrina, I first came up to Picayune and then early Sunday morning before Katrina started hitting land that night left to drive to Jackson to stay with Tom's son-in-law.

I was there until Tuesday morning when he found out he wouldn't have electricity or refrigeration for two weeks. I had seven bottles of insulin in his fridge that had already warmed up some from the lack of electricity for 24 hours, so had to make the decision totally on my own to leave again for a safer place.

I had a tank full of gas and got on I-20 and headed west to Dallas to Tom's other daughter's house where I would be safe and my insulin could be kept cold. The next morning I left there to go on over to my mom's 3 hours west of there for the duration.

It is one of the side effects of disease in this life that we must deal with and you will have to take care to do so, too, on your new medication. So you and Kc need to start talking and planning ahead for such circumstances because you know they will come.

Here we are on the 11th of June with the first tropical storm of the season causing trouble. So, talk about it and make reasonable and realistic plans that you and Kc can handle and be prepared as much as possible.

We didn't have a generator, either, and Tom had mega-responsibilities at the paper so it was the best thing for me to leave on my own to go a designated place and then handle things as rationally as possible (which I'm still not sure I was!) as to what to do next.

You'll work it out and will learn to live with it. It won't be nearly as difficult as it seems to you right now, believe me.

Just like for me being diabetic. Needles on insulin syringes have steadily over the years gotten smaller and finer to the point that they can't be felt at all. Glucagon needles - well - that's something else, but Tom is the one who has to deal with that and he doesn't have to inject himself, so hey - no problem there, either. I certainly never know when he injects me with that and he learned quickly that in a life or death situation one doesn't hesitate to inject and get sqeamish later!

He's an old pro any more and very proud of himself for having conquered his fear of needles. Not that he wants to test that resolve by being injected himself unnecessarily you understand!

One of Tom's favorite mottos in life is that: "You do what you have to do." Period. Nuff said.

Just think positive and think of how much the shots will help you. And may God richly bless you and Kc in all things.


June 11, 2006 11:11 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Thanks girl, we have some ice-chests and we usually leave, when the hurricanes are coming our way, to stay in a hotel till it's over. Once back home, we never know when the power comes back on. Sometimes it's back withing 48 hours, sometimes it takes longer. But we will figure something out.
Yep, hurricane-season has started, but God will provide:-)

Have a blessed day, Dee!

God's Grace.

June 12, 2006 4:56 AM  
Blogger Maryrose said...

I'm so blown away by God's grace! I'm grinning from ear to ear and so happy that you are able to get the medicine you need. :-)

I dread giving my cat her insulin injections every day but giving myself a shot...that is very difficult to think about.

Love you Corry!

June 12, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger Corry said...

I am so grateful as well. God is good!! :-)

I hope you never have to give yourself shots, but God will give what's needed when it's needed.

Love you too, dear friend.

God's Grace.

June 12, 2006 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, goodness! i hate injections! boohoohoo... =(

June 13, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

I sympathise and I wish I could spare you the pain:-(
But let's keep in mind it's for the best!

God's Grace.

June 14, 2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger M. C. Pearson said...

Hope all is well with you.

June 16, 2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Corry said...

Thanks, I hope all is well with y'all too! :-)

Have a blessed weekend.

God's Grace.

June 16, 2006 5:16 AM  
Blogger Pilot Mom said...

Oh, Corry, this is indeed grand news! Praise Him for His neverending care!

I know exactly what you mean about the shots...I will begin giving myself injections next month...ugh! But, if it works, I will be thrilled. My is for my diabetes but it isn't insulin. Thank goodness!

June 16, 2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Yes, praise The Lord!

I sympathise with you about the shots and I hope and pray you will have the same positive results from them as I have from mine:-)

God's Grace.

June 18, 2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Flora said...

Corry. Yes the Lord has as well blessed me with the Humira injections. And Yes I give myself shots every two weels.Hang in there dear because it is beginnimg to help me drmatically! And as well the Lord answers prayers my insurane is as well making it possible for me to receive the VERY EXPENSIVE treatments. I pray that soonit will be available for all RA sufferers.

God Bless Flora

July 16, 2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for the comment and the encouragement:-)

I join you in the prayers. It really does make a dramatic difference. I am grateful your insurance is helpful because it IS expensive. Maybe soon there will be a generic so it will be even more available to everyone.

Please come back soon. I sure would like to hear more about your experiences:-)

God's Grace.

July 20, 2006 7:10 AM  

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