My Experience With Biologics
I have been using biologics for 14 years now. Never really getting used to injecting myself. Not because it’s painful but, in the back of my head, there always is the voice saying: "This is weird.” I get that some people might be a bit wary when offered to start biologics. As far as I have been told by my rheumatologist, biologics are pretty heavy meds. But I wish to share how they changed my life for the better.
First time injecting
When I was 25, both my hips got replaced due to AS having damaged my own hips too much. It was after the second surgery that I could start with biologics. The first 2 times I injected a medical worker came to my house to show me how it’s done. I remember clearly how I felt after my first injection. Before I started using biologics I always had flare pain. But within 2 days after I injected I already felt a huge difference. The flare pain was almost gone.
Before and after
On really bad days I had to take up to 4000mg of ibuprofen just to cope with life. I was in my teens and early 20s. I wanted to enjoy life as best as I could. But the flare pains almost made that impossible for me back then. The difference when I started using biologics was day and night. I had almost forgotten how it was to be able to move freely. Biologics have given me so much of my life back. Only needing a few painkillers a month. What I used to take a day became my monthly intake.
For the first 13 years on biologics, I used Enbrel. At the start of last year, the hospital switched to Benepali. My rheumatologist assured me that the meds were the same. And I didn’t experience any difference between the 2. I also never experienced any side effects. I know that medication can bring side effects but that doesn’t have to be the case. In my case, I only had a slight bruise or an itch where I injected, nothing more.
The lower part of my spine had already been fused before I received biologics. But the biologics stopped the progression of the disease completely for me. The damage done was still there but it didn’t get any worse. And with the flare pain almost gone, I was very content. Now that I’m 40 I can live a fairly normal life. I can do things that I couldn’t do in the past. I’m able to do the normal house chores and I can go out and enjoy life where in the past the disease blocked me.
I’m not a medical expert. I’m just sharing my experience with the readers. I know that starting biologics can be a huge step. Not really knowing how it will affect you. If you are a bit hesitant please talk with the professionals before you start. Let them take any insecurities away from you. I just wish everybody to experience the same difference in life as I did. And who knows, maybe this article took away an insecurity or worry.
How much about your AS do you share with others?