Pretty hot, huh?
This is a photo my doctor asked me to take for her yesterday (after Benadryl, so multiply it by 10). I'm sad to say that I'm having a delayed and severe allergic reaction Remicade, one of the rare albeit possible risks. The quality of the rash is bizarre; it's so strange that my rheumatologist said "she's never seen it before". That's always comforting to hear, right? It most closely resembles whip marks - raised, red and long welts all over my back, sides, stomach, scalp, ears, you name it.
Here's a little fun fact about Remicade: "[Remicade] is an artificial antibody. It was originally developed in mice, as a mouse antibody. Because humans have immune reactions to mouse proteins, it was later developed into a human (humanized) antibody."
According to my rheumatologist, some bodies just can't handle that mouse stuff. Ironically, my dad's nickname for me is "Maya Mouse." If you are on Remicade or are considering starting it, my intention is not to scare you off. Of course, every body is different, but it didn't feel right to hide this medical event in my life.
I've never had an allergic reaction, so it was pretty scary and further amplified by being alone in my apartment. Somewhere throughout the night - in a Benadryl-induced stupor - I had a little chat with myself. It went a little something like this: God Damnit! You stupid body. I get it. I get the damn point... you don't want this, so what do you want? Can't you see I'm scared?! Please just relax. We'll look for other options.
In the morning light, I more fully understand the implications. I e-mailed my doctor at 1:00am and she wrote back within 5 minutes (how's that for a winning doc?). At the moment, we're in agreement that it would be foolish to proceed with Remicade. I so wish I could have given it a real shot. Looking for other options means strength and faith and patience and these are qualities I need to actively fight for. I guess no one said this would be an easy ride, but I could really use a break.
Any prayers, healthy thoughts, healing wishes or good vibes would be more than welcomed! Thanks for reading and being behind me through this ever-changing journey.