Hello, firstly I would like to apologize for not posting on here in a while, I have never been good with diaries so calling this blog one might have been a bad idea. Also the improvements I have been having have been gradual and I haven't had much to say. I would much rather post when I have something worthwhile to say, over posting something that is just filler and not overtly worthwhile.
It has been just over three months since I have started taking Enbrel to help ease the symptoms of AS and this has been marked by the last visit by the lovely nurse from Homehealth. I am still getting phone calls from the to check in on my progress and my nurse is only a phone call away if I need to speak with her. So it hasn't been a case of your three months are over, you're on your own, the support they give is still there for me.
It has been the little thing everyday things I have noticed more with the improvements to my mobility and flexibility, all those things that can be just taken for granted. Like being able to pick up a stack of plates and put them away in the cupboard, over having to do this in stages of a few plates at a time. Bending over to pick things up off the floor is now not as difficult as it once was, when I had to squat down to be able to pick things up off of the floor. Same goes for taking things off of high shelves, I don't have to use a small set of steps to do so, I just reach up and get things, for the most part.
With walking the dogs (AKA The Hounds) I have been able to go up steeper pathways to the top of the South Downs, over zig zagging my way up there, without having to stop due to my knees and hips becoming painful. This is brilliant as it has reopened pathways I love walking to see the views, which I had to abandon due to pain. This gives me more routes to take to vary the walks I go on, I think the dogs love the changes of route as much as I do. They still get up these hills quicker and easier than I do, but as they are both Border Collies this should come as no surprise and with their games in the woods & downland they do walk/run much further than I do.
I have also been able to dig my New Rock boots out from the bleak back of the wardrobe, I don't think Mr. Tumnus has been borrowing them, and have been wearing them again. If you don't know what style of boots these are, they are rather big and heavy boots. The make have been used in many sci-fi films and TV series like some of the aliens in Dr. Who, not the Daleks, but the Judoon are a good example to use here. These are mine and as you can see they are far from dainty.
I have had a few bad days where I have woken stiff, sore and with a total lack of energy. During these days I have found it difficult standing without pain, hard to put my socks on and other unpleasantness. These I know that I am partly to blame for doing too much way too soon, like taking the dogs for long treks over the Downs and pushing it all too far. This is so easily done, especially when you haven't been able to do these things for so long, you get tempted to do that little bit too much as you feel better than you have in years, only to pay for it the next day, and pay for it I did. Partly because I didn't receive any sympathy from my dear wife, who just said "I told you that were overdoing it, but did you listen Noooo." The rest of the payment can from days filled with aches, pains and stiffness and difficulty in sleeping due to these, not fun and something I am trying not to do again.
Being on Enbrel has made a dramatic difference to my life for the better and if you are offered this anti-TNF therapy I would have to say do start it, based on my experiences thus far with it. If I was to have to sum it up in two words, they would simply be 'life changing.'