The students made cornucopias, and wrote a paragraph about what they are thankful for in the middle. They didn’t end up looking like cornucopias, but it was all a good OT and academic activity. They had to rip paper, cut, color, and write for this activity. The students read the book, Junie B. First Grader Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten. In the book the students were creating a list of what they were thankful for. The students made a list as we were reading. The comical list Junie B. provided guided the students with their own list.
I have been on Enbrel for five weeks now, and I have been seeing amazing results. At the beginning of the medication I had a psoriasis flair up. It was definitely the worst flair up I have ever had, but since then disipated. In week 5 I also discovered a pink rash around the injection site about the size of a quarter. It did not hurt or itch. My doctors reassured me that it was a normal side effect, and if it were to get worse I was to take Benedryl.
It was a little scary the first time I injected myself with the medication. You do not know exactly how the needle will be once you push the button and how long you have to sit there holding it.
I wish someone had provided me with personal information about the medication. For instance, once you push the button you must hold it down for 10-15 seconds or until the window is completely purple. If the medicine is not completely injected you will have an arthritis flair up that week. Make sure you are able to see the window so that you can monitor the medication. The needle does not hurt, but it is a little painful when the medicine is about halfway injected. After the medication is injected the injection site will bleed for a bit. All of this information would have been helpful to know before hand.
Towards the end of the week you will begin to feel the medication wearing off. For me I have more joints pop and stiffness in my knee, foot, and sometimes kneck. The joints in my jaw, kneck, and knees seem to be he most affected by the medication wearing off. When I so much as turn my head, it will pop.
Overall, I have been having a good experience with the Enbrel. For the first time since June I was able to go for a run. I am feeling more and more like my normal self. My energy is high, my swelling is down, and my balance has returned. I am extremely happy with the results.
In a special education classroom with little space, it is important to be organized. It is even more important to be organized for the diverse learners that come into the classroom. In order to save time, and promote student independence and responsibility, I have created a homework wall where students go to as soon as they enter the classroom to write their homework down in their agendas. Since this was implemented students have become more responsible for their education and have a higher completion rate.
On October 4, I started the ball rolling for getting the medication Enbrel approved through my insurance. On that day, my doctors provided me with a starter kit for the medication, and modeled how to take the medication. From there the doctor sent the request to my insurance. A week later I received paperwork through Caremark (CVS) I quickly filled out the paperwork, and mailed it too them. After a few days, Caremark called me to ask me personal questions that would help with the approval process (e.g. delivery, administration, allergies, etc.). A week later Caremark called me again saying that they sent the information back to my doctor, and they had three day’s to confirm the request, and then my medication would be shipped to me. Once my doctor confirmed the medication, Caremark called me to inform me that I was approved for the medication, ask what materials I might need with the medicine (e.g. alcohol wipes, toxic box, etc.) and would be sent to me in 3-5 business days. They asked if I wanted to speak to a pharmacist on hand, and communicated that my medication would be automatically refilled and sent to me 7 days before it is needed. I also received a confirmation letter in the mail. From this date the medication took approximately 3 business days to arrive.
In the box the medication was inside a huge plastic bag. In the plastic bag was icepacks, and other materials for the administering of the medication. There were some alcohol wipes, a card that shows how to administer the medication, a biohazard container, and of course the medication.
I have everything that I need to start taking Enbrel. To say that I am not nervous about injecting myself with the medication would be a lie. I have not quite decided where I should administer the medication yet, but will soon. I will start Enbrel in the next few days. Wish me luck!
Wedding pictures of my parents and both sets of my grandparents on my bouquet for good luck! A blue charm added for the something blue.
In my resource room where 30 students come in and out of the classroom daily, pencils go missing constantly. My students never have pencils, and have walked off with about 40 of my pencils in two months.One way to save time, money, and prevent student’s from walking off with Pencils is velcroing a pencil to each desk. They never have to search for a pencil, and they do not take them out of the class. :)
To create a flower bouquet that lasts the whole season you need the following materials:
- a vase, pot, basket, etc
- silk flowers from local craft store
- wire or ribbon
- potpourri (if desired) or anything to use as a filler if you have a see thru vase
Directions: First go to your local craft store and choose a variety of flowers, leaves, and greenery that you would want to use. You want greenery as to fill in the holes. The amount depends on how big you want it. I bought 6 pieces in order to make a large bouquet. I chose three flower arrangements and 3 greenery arrangements. Once home I began to cut each flower into individual stems with pliars. I cut them off to make them easy to stick in wherever you want. I kept one group of flowers intact to use as a base. Then I began to stick the individual pieces wherever I thought they would look good.
When the flowers are where you would like them wrap wire or ribbon around the bouquet to keep it intact.
Before putting the bouquet in your vase you may put potpourri in as to hide the stems, add color, and add a scent to your flowers.
This is the starter kit for Enbrel.
Well it has been 9 weeks with the Sulfasalazine, and I am finally starting to feel more like my energetic self! I am moving better, and having less days with stiffness. When I do have a significant amount of stiffness, it is not totally immobilizing as it was before. Instead of swelling, I have noticed knots on my ankle and knee. Ironically I have a big knot on the scar that I have on my ankle, and a knot on the scar on my knee. It is worse when I wake up in mornings, but as the day goes on it decreases in size.
The biggest news I am reporting, is that I was finally able to get into a rheumatologist in Chicago!! I have not gotten the results from my blood work, or new x-rays on my ankle and knee yet but it all seems to be heading in the right direction.
Unfortunately, the doctor wants to change my medication. He believes that changing the medication will help me become more active than I am currently. I am all for that given I have yet to be able to run. He have me three options to choose from. I was given a bunch of pamphlets and boxes to look through to decide on the medication. My choices were between Enbrel, Humira, or Remicade.
Given the option to choose one of these three was a little stressful. They all have basically the same side effects.
- lowers immune system
- can cause serious infections
- can cause cancer, lupus, or liver difficulties
- respiratory infections
- harm to fetis
- injection site irritation
- fevers, bruising, bleeding, paleness, nausea, rashes
The only difference was how the medication would be administered and the frequency. Enbrel and Humira are both administered through self injection (similar to an epipen). Remicade would be administered in a 2 hour time period through infusion at the doctors. Needless to say for a person who tries to not take medicine at all, this is all a little scary. I immediately decided that I would only use Remicade as a last resort. I do not want to spend 2 hours hooked up to IV’s and taking medication beforehand to get it to work. After careful research, I also decided that Humira would be my second choice. Although I would administer it bi-weekly instead of the weekly of the Enebrel, I heard from other patients, that Humira stung, and seemed to have a higher risk of side effects.
In the end I have chosen to take Enbrel. Not only is it less painful than the Humira, it had more reviews, and is recommended by Phil Mickelson (Professional Golfer). I have already gone into the doctors again, to discuss the medication. When I told them the medication that I had chosen, they were shocked. Apparently I was supposed to choose Humira. One of the nurses then went on to tell me that usually people start with Humira, and then move to Enebrel. I was not told this before my decision! Although they thought it was odd for me to choose this route, I am still going ahead with this medication. Now all I have to do is wait to see if my Insurance will approve taking it before Humira.
Also during my second visit, they gave me starter kit for the medication. They gave me needleless pens to practice administering the medication, as well as bags so I can store my medicine properly. Within the next few weeks, I should hear back about whether I will be approved or denied the medication. (Doctor said if denied, I would just start Humira instead.)
For those of you in this same predicament, I must recommend doing your research. Understanding what the medication entails is important. Hearing from people who have actually taken the medication can be crucial because they are the ones who truthfully will tell you about the medication. I would also recommend going to youtube and looking at videos that people have posted on how to administer medication. I would say after I watched a few of them I did not feel too bad about injecting myself. I wouldn’t say that I do not have my reservations, but it has made me a little more conscious of what to expect and less fearful. I would say that my main concern at this point would be where to administer the medicine. This is still a little confusing to me.
Finally getting some pictures from the wedding!
Before Sulfasalazine & 6 weeks in to the Sulfasalazine
Well it has been 6 weeks since I started taking Sulfasalazine for my Psoriatic Arthritis. I have gradually increased my dosage every two weeks from 1 pill twice a day to 3 pills twice a day. Overall, taking the medication hasn’t been horrible. It took 3 weeks before I started to see any improvements. There have only been a few side effects from the medication. One of the main side effects I have noticed is fatigue ( which is not good when you work 60+ hours per week). Since starting the medication I have seen an increase of mobility and decrease in swelling. There is still some swelling but not to the magnitude it was! There are good days and bad days of course, but on the good days I can now walk flights of stairs without completely using the hand railing to help pull myself up.
As for exercising, I have not been able to do a whole lot. I continue to struggle with getting in and out of chairs, and sometimes just walking. After doing some research, I have been following a regiment where I cannot do any cardio ( running, biking, walking, etc) until I can stretch all of my body parts in 15 minutes. Currently stretching my lower body continues to be a problem. When stretching one body part it is resistant and is a little painful. I try to stay consistant and stretch every day to help increase mobility. It seems to help with mobility, but it is a slow process.
After weeks of trying to get into a Rheumatologist in Chicago, I will finally get in at the beginning of October. I have not been to the doctor as recommended since I was diagnosed due to no new patient openings in the Chicago area. I am kind of excited to go and learn more about my options. (Since my Indiana Doctor sent my diagnosis through e-mail when I got back to Chicago from my honeymoon.). We will see how it all goes. I hope in the next 6 weeks I will be able to run again, or even shoot a jump shot. Here is to Optimism!
Since increasing to three pills a day and the seasons changing (allergies) I have been sick for the past two weeks. It probably does not help that I am a teacher, being around germs all day either, but guess when you have an autoimmune disease, overcoming a cold or allergies is a lengthier process than normal. Hopefully I get over it soon!
I was told last fall that I most likely have psoriatic arthritis. I’ve had chronic pain in my feet the past two years after a summer of intense hiking in 2011. No swelling, but also some stiffness in my hands and lately my neck has been acting “strange.” Anyway, wanted to say you’re not alone. One of the hardest thoughts I’ve had to fight off is: “Why do I have to deal with this and no one else?! Everyone else seems so healthy!”
And congratulations! I just got married on August 3rd, too!
Wish you the best with your health,