What My Flares Are Like on Biologics
I recently got a question about what my flare-ups are like on biologics compared to what they used to be like. I thought this was interesting since I’d never really consciously thought about it. At least lately I haven’t. So I decided I wanted to write about it, just in case you’re on the fence about going on a biologic.
Flares before biologics
Keep in mind that I’ve been on biologics now for 2 years, so my memory isn’t that great going back 3 years. My flares were a lot worse when I wasn’t on biologics, though. At least I can remember that much.
I used to have flares last for weeks or more. I would wake up one day in a lot of pain and have it last a long time. I would need my cane for days or weeks at a time. When I used to get flares, I needed help showering.
Going out during a flare-up was a big NO. I never did that. I would stay home for the duration of my flare, maybe have a close friend come over every once in a while, but mostly ride it out on my own. The thought of leaving my house for something other than a doctor’s appointment didn’t even cross my mind.
Flare-ups were absolutely debilitating before I started biologics. They were the worst pain I had ever been in, and I would lie in bed and cry just from the pain.
Flares while on biologics
My flare-ups for the past 2 years have been very different. While some flares can still be debilitating (and most are), they don’t last nearly as long as they used to. A week MAXIMUM. Most of mine last a few days and then they’re gone.
I still need my cane for them, but I also use my cane to help with my fatigue that comes with the flares. I can shower without help, although I do use a shower chair now. I just make sure to take some extra time if I’m flaring.
If I really don’t want to miss something, or if I really have to, I’ll go out during a flare-up. I’ll make sure I have everything I could possibly need and I mostly only go out with close friends if I’m flaring. That way I know that if it were to get worse, I’m in good hands.
Flare-ups still happen on biologics, but it’s like someone dialed them down. They used to be 8 or 9 out of 10, now they’re a 6 or a 7.
In my opinion, biologics are a good idea to try. At least to try. They are the reason I’m able to get out of bed on most days. If I was still operating like I was before biologics, I’m sure I would have gone crazy by now.
I still can’t work even a part-time job, but biologics have given me some quality of life back and I’m forever grateful for that.
Do you use the word disability to describe your AS?