Casey, A Supportive Person in My Life

When I first got diagnosed with AS, I felt distraught.

But I was very lucky to have someone in my life who is not only a medical professional but a total support to me through this.

This article is about Casey

Casey is my brother's girlfriend. I see her as a sister. We are of the same age. She is a nurse and probably the hardest working person I know. She never stops! Although she does not work with rheumatology patients, the support that she gave me was immense. If she could be with me for my rheumatology appointments she would (she can’t because of Covid).

When I started on biologics, I was terrified, absolutely terrified. I could never imagine injecting myself.

Before I started biologics, a nurse called to my house to take blood tests to make sure I did not have TB. I should also mention here that blood tests are my biggest fear in life. I despise them. I faint every time. When the nurse called, Casey made sure she was here. At this point, my diagnosis was still new to me and I was still in shock. Casey held my hand and reassured me while I was getting my blood tests done (I sound like a baby). She asked the nurse all the right questions, she asked the questions that I needed answers to but did not know how to ask.

Casey supported me through my Cimzia treatments

The next time the nurse called to my house was to begin my Cimzia treatment. The nurse was calling at 4pm. I think this day was the most anxious I had ever felt in my whole life. I was angry, frustrated, and upset. Casey called over early to reassure me and calm me down. She was with me holding my hand while the nurse injected the first Cimzia injection, Casey injected me with the second one.

I was on Cimza for 12 weeks, Casey would show up at my house every injection day to inject me. As I said above, Casey is a nurse. She works 12-hour shifts, nights, and has a very demanding tough job. She would arrive every injection day to inject me, no matter if she was just finished her night shift, starting her shift, or just too tired. I couldn’t blame the girl if she canceled and was too tired and just said do it yourself. But she never did, each time she showed up for me.

She let me show my emotions

As I said above, I hate needles, I was anxious every time. As myself and Casey are quite close, I wasn’t afraid to show her my emotions. Some days I may be uncontrollably upset or angry. I would either cry for a long period of time and not let her do it, or give out to her and get angry. Not once did Casey complain or tell me to get over myself. She was patient and she did it at my own pace.

Because I injected Cimzia on a Wednesday, Casey and I named this day "Weeping Wednesdays." We made a tradition out of it. She would call over with my brother, we all would have dinner together as a family, and then she would inject me (after me shouting at her or crying).

Deja vu

I then changed to Cosentyx. The changing of biologics made me very upset, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to find the right treatment. Casey had the right words to calm me down. Once again, an incredible sense of fear came over me. A nurse was calling to my house again to show and support me through my first injection of Cosentyx. Again, Casey showed up for me, asked all the questions I needed the answers to when I couldn’t find the words, and injected me again.

I finally did it

The day finally came when I injected myself. For my first dose of Cosentyx in 2021, I injected myself. My plan was to do both injections. I couldn’t find the courage with the first injection and Casey reassured me that it was ok and that I would get there. So, she injected me first. I then found the courage, through Casey’s supportive words, to inject myself.

I never had to ask Casey to do any of this. I am forever grateful to her for being part of my family and support system.

You can get through this alone...But I’m not sure if I could have without Casey.

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