Since early December, I’ve hardly injected Enbrel. First I had a chest injection, followed by two weeks of antibiotics. Then my neutrophils stayed consistently low, so I’m in a state of limbo, unable to inject. I’m having weekly blood tests until they return to normal. It’s been particularly frustrating as I was full of optimism about restarting injections after treating the chest infection. Enbrel is the only rheumatoid arthritis drug I’ve tried that’s had any kind of beneficial effect. Plus it’s stabilised my bone erosions, reduced inflammation and swellling, and given me more energy. Essentially, it was starting to give me my life back. I had exciting plans for the start of 2015 that I’ve had to put on hold for a while.
To try and exercise some control over the situation – although I don’t know how likely it is to make a difference – I’ve tried to make some dietary changes such as introducing meat into my diet again and eating even more vegetables than before. Crucially, I’m trying to get 8 hours’ sleep a night as I’ve been sleep deprived over the past two months. Being off Enbrel has reminded me how effective it is because without it my joints are swollen and stiff, it’s hard to get out of a chair and walk, and I’m the most exhausted I’ve been for weeks. I’m distracting myself from the weekly blood results by reading, listening to music and seeing friends. Hopefully waiting for my neutrophils to return to ‘normal’ will be over soon so I can get back to injecting Enbrel.