Last week I trundled over to the office of my gastroenterologist. It wasn't just for fun (who goes to see a GI just for kicks and giggles?...maybe someone, but not me). I told you a few weeks ago that my Crohn's is Crohnsing again so we're working on that.
Well, after this last stint on Entocort (not my favorite medication) I haven't seen much improvement at all in my symptoms. My right abdomen still aches almost all the time but it gets especially angry in the morning and evening and after I eat. I won't go into all of it (no one wants to read a whiny blog), but suffice it to say I think I might could very happily live without this malady in my life.
Anyway, since Entocort hasn't done much for me this time around (frown) it seems as though it is time to plunge into another form of treatment.
Have you ever heard of anti-tumor necrosis factor medications? No worries, I hadn't either (seriously, who names these things?). While I am not really thrilled to be headed for a drug that has the words "tumor" and "necrosis" in the title, I am hopeful that these concoctions will help bring my disease into control. I feel pretty lucky that despite the Crohn's fun I get to face I still have an incredible life and I still have the energy and gumption to be able to enjoy days with my kidlets.
The downside to these medications (besides their foreboding title) is that once you start on them there is no stopping. If you miss treatments or stop taking them your body tends to become immune very quickly so once you hop on the anti-TNF bandwagon it is a life sentence.
The other not so exciting part is that these drugs are generally administered through a shot every two weeks or through an IV every 6-8 weeks. That means that not only will I be tied to a medication for the rest of forever, but I will also be tied to frequent visits to my friendly, neighborhood hospital/lab/whatever. Not what I was hoping for when I naively wandered in to see my GI.
(Learn more about anti TNF drugs and Crohn's disease here.)
Still, I have to say that I am immensely grateful that there is likely a light at them end of my intestinal tunnel. I am very thankful for the blessings of modern medicine and the professionals who dedicate their lives to helping those of us who need them. I will be having lots of inoculations in the near future (anti-TNFs suppress your immune system so I need to become immune to as many things as possible before I start them) as well as some exciting genetic testing, but with any luck this path will soften my future and help me be able to focus on my life more fully, rather than being distracted by Crohn's disease.
This should be quite an adventure!