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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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I'm waiting for my man...

I wasn’t trained to shoot myself yesterday.

What do you know, my insurance is dragging its feet approving the request for treatment. Fuckers.

Dr. B seemed pretty annoyed, actually. It freaked me out a teensy bit. Like, if your doctor’s worried? You know this shit is FOR SERIOUS. She then went ahead and just wrote me a prescription for the medicine and told me to get it filled. “I’m not waiting around for your insurance company. You need to be on this right now.” Yikes is right.

Next week, I have an hourlong appointment with a nurse who will demonstrate how to inject myself. The same day, I have to get a TB skin test to make sure everything’s copacetic (cause the medicine can liberate latent TB virus, so we’ve got make sure I don’t have any latent TB floating about.)

She mentioned that most of the studies that reported the side effects of lymphoma (yay!) and multiple sclerosis dystrophy (double yay!) were conducted in Europe. The study was not able to determine whether the lymphoma and MS were due to the sample size (you get a big enough sample of the population, and someone is bound to get MS or lymphoma or both) or related to how advanced people’s RA symptoms were. She said that’s why it’s important to have people like me on the drug early, because science needs to have more information about early detection and early treatment. As usual, doing my part for science!

The other thing Dr B said that was interesting, but not surprising, was that TNF Inhibitors have been used in Europe for a long time—a lot longer than here in the US. I’m sure this has as much to do with strict (political and byzantine) US FDA approval procedures as it does with American drug manufacturers wanting to make their own version of the drug before they let some foreign company in on the market. This happened with a lot of my asthma medications. When I was a kid, I participated in a drug trial for a British inhaler, which surprise! was not available on the market here.

As my meeting with Dr B was wrapping up, I mentioned having seen an ad on tv for my new drug. “Ask your doctor if it’s right for you!” It was the first time I’d seen a commercial for a pharmaceutical that I actually need and one that I’ve already talked to my physician about. So I laughed and told her it was funny to recognize the brand name. “Now I know how all those old men feel when they see a Viagra ad!” So she mentioned that Viagra actually has some applications for women, and that she was trying to get one of her patients on it but the patient was resistant because of the drug’s reputation. Apparently, since Viagra is great at dilating blood vessels, it’s being prescribed to women for other non-sex-related issues.

Dr B: Viagra doesn’t affect women the way it does men. It does not improve or enhance sex.
Me: Well, I have a friend who bought some in Mexico for recreational use and she swears by it.
Dr B: Hmmm…
Me and Dr B (looking at each other, simultaneously) Placebo effect!

Laughter is some good medicine.

11:39 a.m. - 2005-12-16

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