My symptoms, while not completely gone, have been MUCH abated by the Remicade. My mornings are still a little rough, and now again I get some bleeding, but no pain, no mad rush for the bathroom while out and about during the day. The Remicade is buying me some time, but I think ultimately I will end up having the surgery. Right now I am trying to save a few months living expenses to cover me shutting down my business while I recover then building it back up.
Some people on the boards report feeling fatigued after their infusions, but I never have had that. Your first infusions will take up to four hours, so bring along reading material, maybe a snack, your iPod or Zune or whatever MP3 player you like. I get my infusions every six weeks, although eight seems to be the norm. I've had 15 and my infusions take about two and a half hours.
Some people here obsess about every symptom they feel and attribute it to the infusions, other don't think much about it and just get on with things. It's natural to obsess about it all for the first infusions, but if you are still uncomfortable with the medication after you've been on it for awhile you may need to rethink it or perhaps try a little therapy. To tell you the truth, I was VERY hesitant to try it and extremely nervous, and my next post after my first infusion was something on the order of "gee what a big baby I was, that was a piece of cake!!"
ALL medications have risks, but you need to weigh the risks and benefits for YOU. Remi has been in use for a quite a little while now and doesn't seem to be as risky as first thought. If it works for you even somewhat you will get your life back. My last colonoscopy showed my colon just about healed, it's just the final few centimeters giving me all my trouble now. The improvement in my symptoms and my daily life has been phenomenal though, even if not 100%.
47 yr old female, dx'd UC April 27, 2006; mild arthritis in lower back, dx'd May 2008; Osteopenia dx'd 6/08 Finally achieved remission mid October 2008!!
15 Remicade infusions, current scheduled every 6 weeks: 1st: 7/21/07; most recent: 4/25/09; Current meds & supplements: Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Xanax as needed (rarely); Rowesa and/or Canasa; multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums; Vitamin D;
Past meds: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Asacol; Colazal; Venofer (iron) injections Dec '07; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07); Protonix; Lexipro