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At What Cost?

Things haven’t been going my way in the last year when it comes to dealing with my IBD & also my mental health.

I switched biologics, likely the last one that is an option for me because of the allergic reactions I’ve had to other anti-TNF biologics.

A year of waiting

It’s been a year of waiting, trial and error, and dealing with the end result. Over and over again. While I’m in a little better place right now than I was last January, there isn’t much difference.

You expend a lot of your energy, money, resources and time when you start a new treatment for IBD. It’s lonely, especially when you aren’t seeing the positive results that others immediately did. So you wait. And you wait and you wait and suddenly, it’s a year later.

Fighting off infections

I’ve been sick since last January; with flu, colds, upper respiratory infections.. things that have definitely put a damper on my life. To top it all off, I had C diff for a majority of this year, so it was extremely hard to tell me IBD symptoms apart from an infection that just refused to leave my body.

Recently, I got the Norovirus, which has only made my Crohn’s symptoms so much worse. My system is so week that I’ve been struggling to fight off a chest cold from a month ago still. Is my med to blame for all of these infections? Probably not, but it doesn’t feel like a positive when you’re writing down your symptoms in a journal tracker and your quality of life numbers seem to be going in a quick decline.

The toll on my mental health

I know the first 6 months to a year are the hardest to cope with in terms of starting a new biologic – at least that’s what I have personally experienced. My mental health has also brought me to a place of struggle that I have never experienced before. That was alarming to me. Because I found myself asking “At what cost??” so many times over and over this year. It was important I put a plan in place for myself with my therapist and that we talk about how I’m physically doing each appointment.

The questioning makes me anxious

Of course, it all comes down to discussing the next steps or course of my treatment with my Gastroenterologist. My care team is honest with me, which I really appreciate, and I am brutally honest with them. There is only a certain amount of time I’m willing to struggle and repeat the cycle before I enter my GI office and say – this isn’t working. Do we throw in the towel with this treatment? Do we increase? All of these questions make me anxious and continuously think: “At what cost?”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.