At 11pm this evening, after procrastinating profusely all night by watching episodes of Entourage, I went to my fridge and got out my new prescription of Enbrel that I had picked up earlier. It was still all snug in its innocent looking brown paper bag.
I should have known.
I took the bag out of the fridge and set it down on my kitchen counter. I opened the bag and peered in. Two odd boxes stared menacingly up at me. They said Enbrel, alright, but they weren't the Enbrel I knew. My stomach tightened. I slid out one of the boxes and peered at the label, where I instantly spied the word 'kit.' A knot appeared in my gut. I gulped, then slowly opened up the box to reveal, to my horror, four 25mg mix trays instead of my normal prefilled, premixed syringes. This medicine was not mixed! The tray was filled with conspicuous looking foreign objects that, if put together correctly, could spell relief, but if done incorrectly, could only mean one thing: doom.
I felt panic rip through my bones, knowing that I needed to take a shot this evening, or else. I also knew that with my 8:30am flight in the morning, there was no hope of getting to the pharmacy, already closed, to make an exchange before flying off on my trip.
What was a single gal with RA to do?????
First, I called one of my best friends who also takes Enbrel. She's hardcore and was one of the first to get on the drug years ago. She had experience mixing these cocktail versions of the drug up, and she's an excellent bartender to boot. I dialed her number with shaking hands. The phone rang, and rang, but no luck; I got her voicemail.
My hopes were dashed. There was only one thing left to do. I picked my phone back up, and called into Mission Control.
'Nurse, I got myself a first-class problem,' I explained.
'Relax. I'll talk you through it,' she said coolly.
I slowly laid out the different apparatus on my table and stripped to my skivvies, knowing what was coming at the end of all this. There was a small vial filled with powder, a needle encompassed in a needle cover, a vial adapter, two alcohol swabs, a plunger and a small syringe of liquid. Bit by bit, with the clock ticking, we put them all together, mixing the liquid into the powder to make this medical concoction. Just when it seemed like this ordeal might soon be over, the first batch foamed maliciously, as if to mock my injecting prowess. It was spoiled.
We moved on to a second kit. This time around, I felt like an expert, and swiftly and adeptly configured the medicine. It was time to get this injection underway.
I pulled back on the plunger and filled the syringe with the magical substance and then prepared to give myself the shot. Surprisingly, the needle slid in like butter, and the injection was, for once, pain free.
I gasped with relief.
I signed off with Mission Control, grateful once again that they were there to answer my call in the middle of the night. (And also grateful that they were sending me out a replacement dosage, stat.)
Then I poured myself a glass of wine. Crisis averted.