March 31, 2012

I always get the same pharmacy tech when I refill my prescriptions. She's nice, we talk, she treats me like a friend not a patient. She updates me on her sister's RA and I update her on my arthritis woes. A couple of months ago I was whining to her about the side effects of the Methotrexate and she suggested I ask the doctor for the injectable form. Yesterday I picked up my Enbrel and reported back to her that due to the Methotrexate shortage they were reserving the liquid form for cancer patients. She looked relieved. Come to find out her 2-year-old son has Leukemia and uses the liquid form of Methotrexate. It has been a struggle getting that drug for him. Wow, I feel like I never want to complain about Methotrexate side effects ever again. If I have to endure the nausea and vertigo so that child cancer patients can have the liquid form I'm happy to do that. 

From what I've been able to find out in my research, there are 6 companies that produce Methotrexate in the United States. One company, Ben Venue Laboratories (the manufacturing arm of Bedford), voluntarily suspended manufacturing of all products in November 2011 to address manufacturing-related issues at its facility (whatever that means). The instant demand on the other 5 companies caused a shortage as they have been unable to produce enough Methotrexate. Thus, we have a nation-wide shortage of injectable Methotrexate with cancer and arthritis patients being the ones forced to suffer through the shortage.

March 29, 2012

Tonight I went to a church event where a musical play was performed. It was bittersweet. I used to be the one running musical events at my church, directing the choirs, organizing musical performances. A couple of years ago I had to un-volunteer for all those jobs because of my health. I had been asked, begged even, to be the musical director or an actor for this play tonight. But I had to turn them down, again. The performance was nice. It didn't hit me until I was walking out into the parking lot, or rather limping out, when people were asking me if I had hurt my ankle or something and I had to blame rheumatism once again for my wobbliness. And when it did hit me it made me sad. As a once active leader in these types of productions I've succumb to the new pace of life I must lead. I'm weak, slow, unsteady, and sickly. This is my new reality. It's my new way of life. Just when I thought I had accepted where I'm at a reminder is presented of the lifestyle I used to have and the tears come.