Humira Withdrawal

Humira Withdrawal

Headed into my Regenexx Stem Cell Procedure next week, there are really 2 things that pose a threat to the success of the procedure.

1. My remissioned complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

2. My autoimmunity

I’ve really been taking extra caution these last few weeks to get these two things in line. I DO NOT want them to act up.

There honestly isn’t very much I can do in terms of my CRPS. There’s so little known about the pain syndrome that all I can do is try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible. I have been meditating everyday and saying things to myself like,

“My body will accept the stem cells.”
“My nerves will remain calm and will function normally.”
“The procedure will not cause any more harm to my body.”
“My nerves and immune system will function as normal and will not negatively affect my procedure.”

Only God knows how it will end up, but I can do my best in preparing my body for the procedure.

Now with my Psa, that’s a different story…

In order to have the procedure, I had to stop my Humira injections 3 to 4 weeks before. My last injection was Monday, February, 23rd, 2015. I was nervous to stop the biologics, but I was also very hopeful and excited to see how my body would respond without the immunosuppressant. Since I’ve significantly brought down my inflammatory markers over the past year and a half, I was really optimistic that I would be ok.

The first few days were a little rough. When your body is used to getting something every week, it takes a little while to get used to working without it. After 2 – 3 days, I was back to feeling normal! The only thing I’ve noticed is that my hands are much more stiff than usual. BUT I’ve honestly had more energy the last 3 weeks than I’ve had in 2 years!

I was feeling really well and then I went into a LifeForce session on Friday, March, 13th. Since then my energy has been lower, have had a bit more brain fog and kinda sick to my stomach. I’ve noticed in my foot bath a lot more ‘liver toxins’ coming out too. I think that my body’s starting to really process life without the medication and is starting to detox all the buildup I did have in my system. I really have high hopes for living without it. I won’t be upset if I DO need to go back on it, because I know it works, but so far I’m happy with how it’s going.

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How I’ve been managing without my biologics:

When my hands hurt and are stiff…

Heating Pad: I’ll warm my fingers and hands up a bit in the morning!

Deep Blue: Doterra’s Deep Blue is a life saver to me. Seriously, I wish I could hand out bottles to all my arthritis friends. Helps with aches, pains and inflammation.

Tension Ball: I have 2 small squishy balls – One I keep in my car and the other next to my bed. I’ll periodically do some squeezing exercises to keep my hands moving and working!

Juicing: I see my joints starting to become more fluid moving and less painful when I juice anti-inflammatory foods

Fish Oil, Ginger & Turmeric: Natural anti-inflammatory food!!!!!

When my body feels achy…

Heating Pad or Ice: Depending on if I have inflammation, I’ll use one or the other. To get my joints moving I’ll use heat and if I detect some inflammation I’ll elevate and use ice!

Juicing: Honestly, juicing is amazing. If I’m having a headache or am sluggish or feel achy, pulling out the juicer and getting some high quality nutrients can do WONDERS. I’ve turned around my whole day by just getting some veggies in my system.

Water: I make sure I’m drinking a lot of water. I’ll even throw in some lemon oil to help detox my system. So many of us don’t drink enough water that half of the symptoms that we experience can be tied back to dehydration. With my body detoxing from the medication, it’s imperative that I continue to drink a lot of water to help flush out those toxins!!

Yoga: I’m not talking about a power yoga session to get me sweating hard core! I’m talking about a restorative yoga session. Gentle stretches. Releasing tension. Even if it’s sitting in child’s pose for a bit and then doing a few detoxing twists. Every little bit helps massage our inners and helps in the detoxification process.

Meditation: These last few weeks I’ve turned to meditation A LOT. Probably more than I ever have. And guess what? It’s been the best tool I’ve had in my toolbox. Meditation helps me relax my muscles, let go of tension and helps me to accept my ‘achiness’. It brings me back to myself and helps me see that just because I’m having a bad day, doesn’t mean I have a bad life 😉

Peppermint: If my head is hurting I’ll use a drop or two of peppermint on my temples and the back of my neck. Seriously people – works better than any over the counter medicine!

Deep Blue: Any joint or muscle or body part that hurts, I slather deep blue on that baby.

When my energy needs a major boost…

Juicing: Again, juicing helps so much. The alkalinity in the fruits and veggies helps balance out my body’s pH. Since it’s getting rid of toxins, there’s a whole heck of a lot going on in my body. Feeding my body the correct ‘fuel’ that it needs is the least I can do to help it keep up the good work!

Yoga: When I need energy I’ll do a different yoga sequence than if I’m feeling achy. I’ll do more up tempo’d flows, I’ll really get my blood and spinal fluid moving, maybe do an inversion, lots of twists, anything that I know will get my body awake and moving!

Meditation: When I think of meditation I always think of slowing down, relaxing and maybe even going to sleep. I never thought of doing meditation for more ENERGY! But guess what! It totally can help with energy. When we focus on our exhales we relax our body. When we focus on our inhales, we take in more oxygen and actually can gain more energy! So here’s the outline of a meditation I’ll do

Energy Meditation

Sit comfortably and start to concentrate on my breath.

I’ll focus my attention specifically on my inhale and allow my exhale to happen passively (just meaning you don’t count it or forcefully do anything to change it).

I start with 5 count and work my way up to 10.

So I’ll inhale for 5 counts, visualizing my body filling up with air. And then passively exhale.

I’ll do that for 3-5 breath cycles (inhale/exhale, inhale/exhale, inhale/exhale)

Then I’ll increase it to a 6 count for 3-5 breath cycles. Then 7…8…9… all the way up to 10. 

By the time I reach 10 I visualize my whole body being full of oxygen.

Mood Lifting Oils: I’ll put some energizing blends in my diffuser. I really love Citrus Bliss to put me in a good mood, Balance can help bring me back to the present and helps ground me and I’ve found a new blend that I like to diffuse of peppermint, rosemary and frankincense. It helps me concentrate and is very uplifting!


 

I will say this though, I feel better, I feel clearer (with the exception of the last few days after my LifeForce), my skin is clearer, I feel more radiant and I just feel more ‘me’ without the medication.

I’m excited for my stem cell procedure and to see how all of this plays out! To learn more about my procedure head over to this post!

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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Read more about how I’ve managed my psoriatic arthritis!

Medication: Methotrexate for Psoriatic Arthritis

Medication: Humira for Psoriatic Arthritis