I’ve been on Remicade more than three months, now. Before that, I was on Humira and Enbrel (not simultaneously) for nearly a year. Because of my high deductible, I didn’t get an MRI when I was first diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Remicade obliterated my deductible so I finally had an MRI on my sacroiliac joints this past Monday.
My doctor advised me that it’s possible that the test wouldn’t show any inflammation, but today I received the news that I have inflammation consistent with ankylosing spondylitis. This is good news. I don’t carry the HLA-B27 gene, so this shows that we are treating the right disease, we just haven’t found the treatment that works for me. For starters, we are increasing my Remicade dose to 8 mg.
I don’t know if that will help as I think my problem lies in my superhuman metabolism. Medication doesn’t stay in my system long. The dentist has to give me extra novacaine and the symptoms still have nearly completely subsided when I get home–only a ten minute trip. It’s the same with surgery. I’m not aware of waking up in the middle of a procedure but I came close when I was ten. I was at the oral surgeon pumped full of nitrous oxide. I remember hearing the nurse telling me to breathe deeply right as I was waking up so that more nitrous could be administered. I’m sure it’s not very pleasant waking up in the middle of surgery.
If I could take Humira weekly I’d be in pretty good shape. I remember around seven days out of fourteen where I was pretty normal. The problem is that the medicine isn’t approved for weekly dosing to treat my illness.
All in all, it’s good news. A pastrami on rye would be better, but I’ll take what I can get.