We all know that biologics are an absolute game changer. In my case, I was pain free in just a week or two of my first injection but does anyone else think about the strain it puts on your body?

To be clear from the outset here, I am not complaining about the side effects of biologics, I fully understand that in order to control my arthritis, we need to calm down my crazy hyperactive immune system and the benefits far far outweigh the drawbacks. I also know it’s not the case for everyone but I’m one of the many users of biologics that suffer from the constant conveyor belt of infection and viruses that I just can’t seem to shake now. Mostly ear, nose and throat infections but occasionally I get a nasty one, like the current chest infection I’ve had hanging around for the last 4 weeks. This is a summary of how those 4 weeks have gone:

Week 1

My 9mth old was in hospital with tonsillitis (rough going for a baby, right?). It was a long week with lots of trips to A&E, Drs etc, sleepless nights and stress and, you guessed it, by the end of the week I was feeling under the weather.

Week 2

My son is on the mend (yay!) but I’m off work for 4 days with a cough, cold, sore throat, bad chest and low level fever – hardly surprising when you think of everything (people and places) I was exposed to the week before with a compromised immune system!

Week 3

Dylan’s tonsillitis has returned (seriously!?) with the antibiotics running out the same day he started to get back to himself, allowing it to get a foothold again apparently. To make matter worse, my wife is also diagnosed with tonsillitis and signed off work for a week!!

Week 4

Mother and baby are doing well and on the road to recovery, however my cough and fever have returned. I go to the Drs to check it’s not tonsillitis (for the hat trick!) and get diagnosed with a chest infection and put on antibiotics. I’ve been off work for another 3 days (and counting) and as normal, I’m struggling to shake this off – even with the antibiotics that I try to limit resorting to to 2-3 times a year for the infections I really can’t fight on my own.

Whilst being laid up in bed, two thoughts enter my mind alongside the usual worries of job security, is my boss losing patience with me, do the people that matter understand all of this, how much of a burden am I on my family etc. Firstly, what are the long term effects of going through this cycle every couple of weeks? Putting my body under the repeat stress of fevers, infections and viruses? Secondly, what happens when I get older and weaker? By keeping the arthritis at bay am I putting myself at risk of catching something I just can’t shake, when the antibiotics stop working after years of using them or that a battle-worn immune system just can’t fight?

I don’t have the answers to these questions as yet but I’m already researching it so keep an eye out for future related posts. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts in the comments or on my social media profiles. What do you think about these questions raised? What do you worry about with such a bleeding edge treatment or are you a medical professional with some of these answers and can help educate and inform our followers?

Please get in touch and help me build this resource up. In the meantime, I really hope I’m not here next week writing about a week 5 to this current infection saga!

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Arthritis and Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Writer And Consultant. Owner Of The Pain Company.

I share my story of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to raise awareness and specialise in pain, parenting (with disability) and the mental health impact of living with chronic illness. I write and campaign for leading charities and organisations. In addition, I provide patient experience consultancy for both charities and global healthcare companies.

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