Who ya gonna call?
Certainly not Ghost Busters, because that would be fun and there is no fun in “autoimmune.”
So. P. Brynny has Lupus. She looks fine. She acts fine.
But, inside…her B cells are wreaking havoc on her innards.
BAD B cells!
What kinds of treatment options are there, then? Why is P. Brynny not burdened with the Plight of 1,000 Medications?!?! Surely if she’s ill, she should be chasing pills with that mocha-choco-vodka-valium-latte, no?
1. NSAIDs: these medications are used in the treatment of mild lupus for the aching and swelling and fever* that accompanies lupus, strikes.
*wait…fever? Yes. Because your autoimmune system isn’t under-active, peeps…it’s overactive…and what happens when you’re fighting off the flu, or strep throat? Fever. But with lupus, it’s, like, most of the time. Isn’t that awesome? #notreally
Can I take NSAIDs? No. But I do, on occasion. Why should I not take them? Because I have damage to my kidneys and heart.
Aspirin? No can do. Because I have damage to my kidneys and heart.
*sing it with me!*
Because I have damage to my kidneys and heart…fa la laaaaaaaaaaa….
2. AntiMalarial drugs: Plaquenil is a very common drug therapy for Lupus. It comes with its own realm of side-effects because, why? You guessed it! P. Brynny doesn’t have malaria. P. Brynny has “Lupus.” Why is P. Brynny not on Plaquenil? Because P. Brynny has, in the past, had eye issues which is increased due to her being diabetic. And…because P. Brynny is diabetic and the risk of hypoglycemic episodes are indicated. And, y’know…I don’t have fucking malaria. How awesome is that?! #notreally
3. Corticosteroids: For example, Prednisone. Those who know, know. Prednisone is this:
Notwithstanding the sudden weight gain, which is, y’know, bad for P. Brynny being diabetic and blood glucose’n’all that awesomeness… Prednisone is often a short-term, lowest-dose-possible, treatment for Lupus.
It’s. A. Steroid. It aims to decrease inflammation and swelling due to the pain, tenderness, swelling and inflammation of Lupus flares. Short term is not often a plausible solution for a long-term illness.
4. Immunosuppressants: These kinds of drug therapies are used in more serious or complex matters of Lupus involvement as they aim to suppress the body’s natural immune system. Common medications are – Cellcept, Cytoxan, Methotrexate and Imuran, to name a few.
5. Benlysta: is the first FDA approved pharmaceutical, specifically designed for Lupus patients, in 50 years. FIFTY. YEARS. And, it works for approximately 40% of people who, by the gods, hope to have insurance to pay for it. (Canada)
But wait for it: “Deaths There were more deaths reported with BENLYSTA™ than with placebo during the controlled period of the clinical trials.”
Oh, heck…go read the study: Product Monograph for Benlysta
**P. Brynny does not advocate for or against any potential treatments. Your health care team will decide what is best for the you that is “You.”**
Because, you matter.
No, P. Brynny is merely illustrating the ups and downs and of the sliding across the finish line upside down and on fire kind’o’journey through her own made-for-tv-movie version of living with Lupus.
What P. Brynny DOES do, is Rituxan. This dandy of a pharmaceutical was derived from a mouse antibody that is designed to kill B lymphocytes (white blood cells). While these B cells are part of anyone’s normal immune system, the problem is that these cells are over active in people with Lupus.
THEN, the hope is that the B cells will return to normal levels…not go bat-shit crazy and…well…let’s not rush the bastards. We hope they just stop when they’re supposed to.
1. Also called B lymphocyte. a type of white blood cell that circulates in the blood and lymph and produces antibody upon encountering any antigen that has a molecular arrangement complementary to the antibody.
2. beta cell.
[1970–75] Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
P. Brynny hopes they rot in whatever is the worst possible place in all of the Cosmos. She may or may not also have had her imagination wander and pretend like there’s this epic Star Wars: Battlefront carnage going on inside her bloodstream. Could happen.
P. Brynny also has refills upon refills available to her for topical steroids to help with the skin that periodically falls off of her scalp. Because, the butterfly (or, “malar”) rash isn’t pretty enough! #notreally
Isn’t Lupus FRABJOUS?
Of course, there are also the daily modifications and adaptations to “Life.” Like, when P. Brynny’s hands don’t work or…the better one…when her leg stops working in front of an entire group of people in the middle of a ritual and her husband has to walk her Go, Go SpazzyAss up to the front.
Or, like when P. Brynny’s headaches are so bad, or when her skin feels like it’s on fire from the inside out or when her kids don’t even bat an eye anymore as she crawls up the stairs for the eleventy-billionth time this month.
When brushing her teeth hurts to typing her journey online…P. Brynny has your back, Jack…because it’s all for the greater good and the people who matter.
When P. Brynny has to channel her inner vampire and apply SPF eleventy-billion just to go outside and achieve epic shit…she’s got your elbow, Romeo…because it’s all for the greater good and the people who matter.
Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days that if they don’t kill me make me strong enough to bench press a Buick.