I Do Tricks for Treats!: My First Experience with Cimzia for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Cat on a toiletToday I had an awesome bicycle ride!   AND I only got up twice last night to go to the bathroom. To what do we owe these splendors?

I started Cimzia, yesterday.  Cimzia is an injectable-biologic-medication used to manage the symptoms of inflammatory autoimmune diseases.  It is specifically approved for Crohn’s and Arthritis.  A wonderful Home Nurse from Arcadia Health Care,Stick figure nurse holding a giant needle named Kathleen, came to our house and trained Mike and I on how to administer it yesterday afternoon.  This is not the first injectable medication that I’ve had, but it is the first one without a fancy syringe that does the work for you.  My Cimzia came in pre-filled syringes that shipped to my house from a speciality pharmacy.  Beyond that, it was all old-school.  The part I was most nervous about was pulling back on the syringe to check for a return (if blood came back up into Tiny hands made from soapthe syringe).  This would mean that I was in a blood vessel and would have to try again.  I’m not sure why this part had me the most worried, except that with my fancy syringes in the past, I didn’t have to do this step-so, it was new.  I also have fairly small hands so to reach back and pull up on the plunger with the same hand that’s holding the syringe is a little difficult.  However, I had some good advice from a friend: “Keep breathing and don’t close your eyes.”  (Good advice for many things in life-like driving for example.  Thanks Beth-Beth!).  That coupled with Kathleen’s awesome training made the process pretty smooth.  And, all things considered, because I inserteA hand holding a woman's eye opend the needle myself, it was gentler than the fancy-version that slammed the needle into me.

My husband Mike with our dog Danae

During our training, Mike explained to the nurse how we used to give our dog allergy shots, so we did have some experience with regular needles.  When Mike would give these shots, he’d bribe our dog with a treat to get her to come into the kitchen.  However, he wouldn’t give her the treat until after she received the shot and performed a trick (yep- he still made her perform a trick even though she got the shot).  I had to have two shots yesterday.  I administered one into my abdomen;  I was pretty worried about this as I have a lot of scar tissue there and the whole area is tender, but it went surprisingly well.  Mike injected the other shot into my thigh, which went fine as soon as I relaxed enough for him to “grab some meat.”  After my shots, I decided that I too wanted a treat.  (I figured injecting myself was a good enough trick).

Sush Ring

I was considerably tired after Kathleen left.  Besides my regular fatigue, I had been “slightly” worried about starting the Cimzia for at least the past week.  Once the shots were complete the adrenalin wore off and I started to crash.  But, I figured I’d better capitalize on this while I had the chance; so, I asked Mike to take me to the sushi buffet for my “treat.”  The sushi was delicious but I spent most of the time in the bathroom and had an evening of pain.  This is typical for mThe Magic School Buse.  And besides the bike ride, my day today has been a mash-up of “typical” symptoms.  Cimzia injections aren’t  magic shots.  They take at least four to six weeks to kick-in.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’re saying, “Wait, if these aren’t ‘magic shots,’ and they take four to six weeks to kick-in, then how is she attributing the Pooh Trick or Treatinggood night and the bike ride to them?.”  Well, I’m not.  Or, at least not directly.  I think these goodies were the universe’s “treat” to me.  God and I have been chatting lately; I’ve been seeking His inner guidance and understanding.  Through this process, I have come to know that I have a lot to learn from my experiences on this earth and that my time here is an opportunity and a blessing.  I think these two wonders were God giving my efforts a great big smile and nod of encouragement.

A hand in space holds a ball of lightSomething else I have learned is that God works in mysterious ways.  Therefore, if God wants to make the Cimzia work miraculously then I am certainly not going to turn away Her gift.  “Evallah.”*

P.S. Did you feel the earthquake today?  I think that all in heaven were dancing for joy with me.

A dancer twirling a sheet

*“‘Evallah‘ means ‘As you wish.‘  It literally means ‘As God wills‘ and signifies our willingness to accept whatever we are given – good or bad, delightful or unappetizing – remembering it comes from God.” (Norton and Smith; An Emerald Earth).

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Tooth with graduation capNot everything we Spoonies deal with in life is directly related to Chronic Illness.  How do I know this?  I’m very wise thanks to having my wisdom teeth yanked!  For a humorous look at Wisdom Teeth check out Wisdom Sockets for the Sages: A Funny Interpretation of the Source of Advanced Intelligence.

Grapes on a vineNeedles might be scary, but Cimzia’s not my scariest medication to date.  That would be my seizure medication served up with a child’s dosing spoon!  It lures me in with terms like “grape flavored” and then performs sneak attacks!  Check it out: Keppra – Grape Flavored Brain Drain and Mood Swings in a Bottle.

Schweenie Eleanor Roosevelt running through flowers.

All this talk of needles and medication got you down?  Find some relief in Curiously Seeking Beauty to Escape the Dark Chocolate Downs of Chronic Illness.

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Awesome Kid Mascot for “Successes!” Blog Carnival at http://myuiiblog.blogspot.com/ Image originally posted on http://luisgalarza.blogspot.com/

This article is featured in Understanding Invisible Illnesses‘ “Successes!” Blog Carnival!  I’m really honored to be included among the other 12 great contributors.  Be sure to hop over to the Carnival and check out the other posts to explore ways to improve  your physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

In looking for images for this post, I typed “tiny hands” into google.  Below are a couple interesting sites that came up.

Tiny Hands Jewelry Logo

This is a jewelry company that’s independently owned and operated by a young woman who creates handmade food-shaped AND scented jewelry.

Tiny Hands is a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the church in the developing world to help the poor overcome poverty and become lights of the world. We are committed to finding the greatest injustices in the world, and working towards relieving them however possible. We are particularly called to orphans, street children, and the victims of the sex-trafficking industry. We want to find those who are already doing the work, who are called and faithful, and help them do it in greater ways and with more efficiency. We do it all in obedience to, and for the glory of Jesus Christ.

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10 thoughts on “I Do Tricks for Treats!: My First Experience with Cimzia for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    • Thanks Laura! And I hope that things are going well in the land of the G’s! Looking forward to seeing pictures and catching up when you have the chance and are feeling up to it.

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