I gave myself my second Enbrel injection on Tuesday and I am cautiously optimistic that it seems to be working. On the other hand, I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, too soon.
My pain levels for the past month to six weeks have been averaging an 8.5/9 and I am sitting at about a 6.5/7 right now, which is a huge improvement for me. But I’m not sure if Enbrel is the reason I’m feeling so much better. When I saw my rheumy two weeks ago, she gave me a steroid injection plus I did a week-long prednisone dose pack, the combination of which finally brought down a lot of my joint inflammation – so much so that I lost 10 pounds in less than a week. I can actually see my kneecaps now! So, it’s really hard for me to tell if the pain reduction is from Enbrel or from the steroids or a combination of both.
I guess I just need to wait and see, the effect of the steroids will most likely be wearing off within the next week, so if my pain levels start going back up after that I’ll have my answer. I really, really want the Enbrel to work.
On another front, I had my diagnostic mammogram last week and the radiologist said he’s pretty sure it’s just a cyst and he’ll do the mammogram and ultra sound again in 6 months to double-check. But, he and my gyn doc both said it is nothing to be worried about. One side note – in my original post, I said that it was 2mm, turns out the lady that called me from the imaging center was mistaken, it’s actually 62mm in size, so quite a bit larger than I originally thought. It’s very deep inside the breast though and not something that I can feel when doing a self exam. They won’t do anything about the cyst unless it becomes painful or disfiguring.
And the last thing I’m optimistic about this week, I have an appointment with a pain management doctor tomorrow. I’ve been living with, suffering through extreme amounts of pain for way too long without adequate measures to deal with it. My primary care doc is not comfortable with prescribing me very much in the way of pain medication and my rheumy doesn’t write prescriptions for pain meds. So, I definitely need to do something. Right now, I have a prescription to take one vicodin every 12 hours, which is a joke with the level of pain that I’m dealing with. I also have lidoderm patches and voltaren gel that I can use topically, but neither of those helps very much. I am really hoping that the pain management doc will be able to help come up with a plan to control my pain. I’m pretty sure it’s not normal to spend over a month with your pain level at 8.5/9…..
I’ll keep you posted on how Enbrel is working and what happens with the pain management doc….. Have a great day….