I admit I was horrified to read a feature in Grazia the other week on the new ‘Drip Diet’ craze, but I’m not one to judge and if these silly girls want to risk their health to loose weight then whatever. As you know I’ve been sick lately but had to drag myself out today to run some errands, I picked up a Grazia to read on the way to cheer me up, but ended up in a rage.
I’m ill, I feel like utter shit. It’s a gorgeous sunny day but I’m covered up, every inch except my hands and the bottom half of my face. I have to cover my arms up because they are full of bruises from needles and one arm is a swollen mess due to a bad reaction to a vaccine. One of the drugs I have to take has made me super sensitive from the suns so I’m hidden under huge sunglasses and a hat. Ironically I also have a vitamin D deficiency so I really need some time in the sun, I will go and roll my sleeves up in the garden when I get home in where nobody can see me.
Two week old needle bruises, I don’t heal at a normal rate anymore
So when I open my magazine to see a feature on ‘Party girl drips’ I totally loose the plot. I remember seeing the photo Rihanna tweeted of her on a drip, I felt sorry for her being sick, I know what that’s like, having to be poked and prodded with needles in hospital is the bane of my life. But to now find out celebrities and ‘party girls’ are paying to have vitamin infusion drips to cure hangovers really upset me. I am not one to judge, each to their own, but to make such hospital treatments that other people have to save their lives into some frivolous fancy for these rich and stupid bitches is too much. I was also severely disappointed to see at the end of the feature one of Grazia’s editors trying out the treatment. I could have respected a critical review of the worrying situation, but to try it out like a new lipstick only shows encouragement.
An allergic reaction to the Pneumonia vaccine I had to have prior to starting a new medication – this was two days after the shot you don’t want to see how bad it got after that, I suffered 5 days before I could even get treatment for it (excuse the mess and the fact I’m in my bra I never intended to post this photo, I only took it to show my friend who is a nurse).
So here is some reality, a reality I hope none of these silly celebrities ever have to face. For those of you who don’t know I suffer from a disease called Psoriatic Arthritis (previously thought to be Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia). It is a difficult thing to correctly diagnose hence the number of different diagnoses I have had so far. Even this one disease has many different variations. Either way they are all auto-immune conditions, this means my immune system doesn’t work correctly, rather than defend my body it actually attacks it. In the two years I have been suffering with this I haven’t had one day where I wasn’t in pain. Some days I cannot get out of bed, every single part of me hurts – there is now way I can ever describe this, my joints swell up, I can’t walk without feeling my hip joint grate in its socket, my fingers are now permanently two ring sizes bigger, my feet will only fit extra wide shoes now, I throw up most days because of the meds, I constantly have stomach ache from the meds… the list goes on and on.
Treatments are available to help manage the condition and try to prevent further onset, however there is no cure. I’ve tried so many different drugs I lost count, many of them having severe side-effects, one put me in hospital when I had a migrane for five days, I thought I was going to die. Right now I am left in the situation where all the ‘safer’ drugs have failed and I am now facing a drug called Methotrexate. Methotreate or MTX for short is a cytotoxic drug, it is a chemotherapy used in higher doses to treat cancer. That is how serious it is, this I am told is my last resort because I am not sick enough to merit the Biologic drugs which have better sucess rates, yet are 100 times the price. Mr Cameron does not think I am worth ┬ú10,000 per year. I must wait until I am near crippled, even though medical research proves it is vital to stop the disease early before it gets to irreversible damage levels. Having said that MTX does have a 30% sucess rate, it is something of a wonder drug for those people allowing them to live an active life. For the other 70% the side effects are very scary, ‘minor’ side effects are nausea, dizziness, stomach pain and hair loss, ‘major’ includes liver damage, seizures, breathing difficulites, oh and death. I don’t have a particularily good track record with side-effects so I admit I am absolutely terrified to start this drug. I have two weeks before I start it so am planning days out and a party with my friends before hand, just in case I’m too sick to see them for a while.
My friend having blood taken for tests
I probably know a lot more about this drug than the NHS booklet would like, this is because I am an administrator in an Auto-immune support group. This is a private group where we can share stories and offer a shoulder to cry on. In our group one member had been on MTX for 15 years it is really helping her, others however I have seen suffer from it immensely. Constant nausea, stomach pains, mouth sores and hair loss. Because let’s face it, as much as I would shave my head right now if I thought I would be cured, the fact is it’s a prospect nobody wants to face. Whilst the dosage I will be on is not as high as that of a cancer sufferer, where the hair is pretty much guaranteed to fall out, it can still be effected. I have read stories from people just experiencing slight thinning to one woman loosing 70% of her hair a few weeks prior to her wedding. It really is stupid to be worrying about something so insignificant, but when you are used to having a disability you can hide, something so visual as your hair makes it very much public. Just like the bruised arms, suddenly you look sick.
Having the Methotrexate injection, my friend has them in hospital as she is very sick and needs to be closely monitored. Usually the injections are self administered.
These last two photo’s are of my very dear friend, I won’t use her name but she knows who she is. She set up our support group and is one of the bravest women I know, as well as one of the most generous and kind hearted. She is always trying to help raise awareness of our conditions and took these photo’s as a means of doing so. Her condition is far worse than mine, she has multiple strains of auto-immune diseases. She gave us all a bit of a worry the other day when she was rushed off to hospital and we hadn’t heard from her. Thank god she is ok but she is currently having to have a drip infusions to keep her alive.
So forgive me if I don’t want to have such medical procedures trivialised in a glossy magazine. Grazia I unsubscribe.