Sunday, 30 June 2013

"My Meds Ran Out" Survival Guide

You may already know that I take Enbrel for arthritis. You may also know that it's working rather well- granted, I have my bad days but overall my symptoms are more manageable and I get no unpleasant side effects. However, what you did not know was that due to some bad planning ahead I am going to be without Enbrel for about a week and a half. Unfortunately it takes a week without Enbrel to experience symptoms at full force, and takes a week after starting again to get relief. This is going to be a fun three weeks.

So, in honour of my 'miscommunication' with the pharmacy, I present to you now the 'My Meds Ran Out' survival guide.


  • Back-Up. Make sure you have any NSAIDs your doctor prescribed or are otherwise able to take. Keep them close by in case you need them. Also, if it helps, write down what times you took them so you know when it should begin to wear off and when it's safe to take another if you need it.
  • Fire and Ice. Have your ice packs and heat packs good to go. Ice for swelling and heat to loosen. The general rule is heat to loosen and relax before activity and ice after to control swelling. Don't use either for more than twenty minutes at a time. 
  • Instant Ice. If you need an ice pack but don't have any ice, try this: take a water bottle, can of Coke-A-Cola or anything containing liquid. Wrap it in a wet paper towel or something of the sort. Put it in the freezer for about fifteen or twenty minutes. It should be very cold and last at least twenty minutes.
  • Hot Baths. Speaks for itself.
  • Take it Easy. Don't push yourself: if you are usually taking a DMARD or biologic, and push yourself whilst off it could end in a major flare. It doesn't mean sit at home and act miserable, it means don't begin training for the Tour de France if you haven't so much as touched a bicycle in years.
  • Make Time for You. Whilst off normal meds, it's extremely important to rest and recharge. It doesn't necessarily mean sleep any moment you can, and most certainly doesn't mean to forget the others in your life. It means getting the rest your body and mind need. Being off meds that work even a little can be extremely painful and stressful, your body needs kindness for you.
Of course this is a rather short, quick list. Feel free to leave a comment about your favourite 'My Meds Ran Put' tips and comforts.

2 comments:

  1. Oh dear...I am wishing you a lot of strength through these weeks! Great suggestions in your post. Doing things we love also helps us through flares, even if all we can do is listen to music.
    Good luck and hope things don't get too crazy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm hoping through some miracle more Enbrel will arrive in the post this week.

      I agree- doing anything can be a good distraction, even if its just music. On particularly bad days, I'll watch a bunch of musicals on DVD: the music soothes and the show takes your mind off things.

      Delete