Biologic Medications and My Finger Infection
Last updated: January 2023
Having an autoimmune disease like AS, my body can be vulnerable to getting infections much easier. I am on biologics (I take Cosentyx) which makes me even more vulnerable to infection.
I didn't think this was possible
I ended getting an infection on my finger. My finger! Whoever thought it would be possible? Not me! It started with just pain and redness. I kept thinking it was nothing. But then as days passed, it travelled to half my finger. It got to the point where I reached out to my pain killers that I hadn't been using anymore as often. My AS and fibromyalgia pains have been under control. But just with an infected finger, this changed. Brought me to flare up. Brought on a couple of sleepless nights again.
I decided to make an appointment at a walk-in clinic. It was impossible to find a clinic that would take me. My family doctor, who I usually go to, hasn't been available. He hasn't had a free time to book an appointment since May, this summer. This worries me. I only feel comfortable seeing my family doctor, as you all know how hard it can be to find a good one that will listen. I was miserable again. In so much pain and didn't want to feel worse and bring on a big AS flare. With my body, even the smallest thing can bring on a flare.
A rude doctor
My husband's friend gave me a clinic near the house where I was able to get the same day an appointment to see someone. I waited so long in the clinic. Finally got to see someone. He was so arrogant and mean. He laughed at me, when I said "I been in pain and haven't been able to sleep at night. The pains have made my AS flare in my chest and back." He looked at me and said "Oh really? You really think it's all happening from a finger?"
I mentioned how I have been taking Tramacet for the pain and he was shocked that I was on that kind of medication. He was surprised how my doctor even prescribed me pain killers to be taken when needed. I told him, "Well my disease brings on pain. This is what helps me find some relief and do my things. I am also on biologics, Cosentyx."
I felt like this situation brought me back to the beginning of my journey of finding a doctor that will listen and help with getting a diagnosis. He made me feel like I was overreacting. He didn't even know what biologics were, or the name of the medication I was taking. He actually wanted me to spell it, while he laughed. I left his office with antibiotics and just told me to put my finger in warm water. He laughed and said "Now, now. Don't burn yourself while doing it."
My finger got worse
Days past, I did what he told me, and my finger got worse. I was not able to move my hand as much. The pain was unbearable. My finger swelled up even more and the redness travelled to my whole finger. I decided to go back to the clinic as I was not able to find an appointment anywhere else. I didn't want to go to the hospital, as I had nowhere to leave the kids and I knew I would wait hours. I thought maybe the second time I would go back to the clinic would maybe be a lucky charm.
Finally someone listened
I waited impatiently, not wanting to be there. Finally, it was another doctor this time. Looked at my finger. I mentioned I was on biologics and right away the doctor knew why the antibiotics weren't working. He prescribed me a stronger one to take. He mentioned how sometimes antibiotics won't work well with biologics and will need something stronger. He was so nice. He took his time and listened. He drained my finger and cleaned and covered it. He also gave me a paper on how to make a soap bath for my finger. Meanwhile, the other doctor I saw, said just put it under water, which I was not supposed to do.
I started the new treatment that I was given and started to see results right away. My finger started to heal. Night and day compared to how I was treated with the previous doctor. I wish it was easier to find a good doctor. It can be so hard for so many of us, when struggling to find someone that will listen and not treat us like everything is in our heads. This event brought be back to the early days of diagnosis.
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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