I feel the same way about Enbrel. After having been on Pred and Methotrexate and those two just not quite cutting it, it is a relief to find a medicine that actually works. I've been on it for 14 months now and have only had a few painful injections (if I do the injection a little too far to the outside of the upper thigh the pain is almost unbearable! Must be a nerve there...) and no serious illnesses to report.
I'm right in the middle of my first respiratory illness that has given me a touch of concern (second respiratory illness overall since starting Enbrel). It is very mild thank goodness but lingering a bit too long. My good luck is in that I already have scheduled my regular Rheumy visit tomorrow at 3:00!
And honestly, my arthritis pain was so severe at one time that it not only has readjusted my idea of what pain actually is, but if I do happen to get lymphoma or some other Enbrel related illness and die 20 years earlier it will have been worth it to be able to "live" during the time I have! I am 37 now, and if I make to to 60 with no pain that will be fine with me if the alternative is to live to 80 with constant unbearable pain!
i hope i can avoid the infection risk with enbrel. any advice on how to do that? i understand the pain thing too. a year ago the pain was so bad i couldn't walk a step, let lone get up a help caring for our infant son. that was hard. that kind of pain makes you crazy in a hurry. i was so depressed back then, i'm glad the new meds are working so far.
I agree with you 100 percent about taking these drugs and the quality of life they give us. I suffered for several years, refusing to try the new meds because of my fear of side effects. I was taking care of my parents and so afraid that if I got sick I wouldn't be able to care for them. My Dad passed away in December of 2005 and I lost my Mom in June of 2007.
Finally my pain got so bad and the damage to my joints was getting to the point it was difficult to use my hands - so I started out on Enbrel. I had to switch to Humira because I had a really bad injection site reaction on the Enbrel (probably from the preservatives, they said). Anyway - been on Humira since August and it has made my life so much better. Both my parents died at age 86 and both of them had reached the point where there wasn't a lot of quality left to there lives. I miss them both so much but know they are in a better place and have peace knowing I cared for them both till the end. After watching them, there is no way I would even want to live that long. All we have is today and I'm so grateful that today I have very little pain. Thank God for Humira,
on the Enbrel.com website there are links to Enliven. its a resource that might help you answer questions about covering the cost. right now Enbrel has been a miracle for me but i'm on doctor's samples. my insurance is in the process of approving or dening coverage. i hope they cover this. i don't know what i'll do if they don't. the new biological meds are the only thing that helps 98%. good luck and hang in there.