RA Patient Stories
Susie's story will begin in a moment
The following story is from an actual HUMIRA Patient. Individual results may vary.
Please see Safety Considerations at the end of this presentation. Please see full
prescribing information, including the Medication Guide for HUMIRA on this website.
Voiceover and On Screen:
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain
other medicines to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid
arthritis in adults, may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may
help your ability to perform daily activities.
My name is Susie and I'm from Glen Ellyn. At one point when I thought I broke my
hand. I had a lot of pain in my thumb and down into my wrist and it was very swollen.
I went to my general practitioner and they had me do an xray and they said, "We'll
do some blood tests, but we think you'll probably be fine". They sent me home with
some over-the-counter something or other and it actually got better. The swelling
went down, it stopped bothering me and about maybe six weeks later, a nurse called
me and said "you have RA".
She said that I needed to go to a rheumatologist. So I went when I could get in.
I still was without symptoms, other than that I'd still occasionally have this swollen
thumb. Then, the swelling would go down so I didn't really think there was really
a lot I needed to do. Within about six or eight weeks, maybe two months of me seeing
that first rheumatologist, I ended up with both wrists swollen, both thumbs swollen
and then my hands. It kind of went very quickly from there. My hands would swell
up so big that my fingers looked like sausages—like the insides were trying to get
out from the skin.
I couldn't pick things up or open cabinets. Touching things was so painful and I
work on a computer. It was excruciating. I couldn't even drive myself to work. I
would have my husband have to lean in the car and have to turn over the ignition
because I couldn't make that turning movement. It really made life very challenging.
The worst days for me were days when I didn't even want to get out of bed, knowing
that everything would be difficult. Turning on the shower. To put on my own clothing.
I remember my mother coming to visit and having to dress me. I had girlfriends who
just got into the habit of cutting up my food for me.
I was very fearful of the future. What was going to happen next and what level of
pain I was going to be in and how much my life was going to change.
After I had been on medications for about a year, we determined that whatever recipe
I had wasn't really working. I had severe fatigue. The hands were really bad. I
felt like—and my doctors felt like—I needed to make some pretty important decisions
about my future.
After I started on HUMIRA, the swelling in my hands started to reduce. And able
to do more of the fine motor things I hadn't been able to do before. I can do crafts.
I can do cooking. I can do things with my son like tying his shoes or blowing bubbles
or playing in the playground. Taking this medicine was the turning point for me.
Gave me my hands back.
Whenever I've made decisions about medications or therapies, I've worked with my
rheumatologist and my physician's assistant to look at anything else going on with
me that might affect medications or lifestyle. They always let me have a lot to
do with that decision. I've always felt pretty empowered to be able to make decisions
about my own health.
My doctor discussed all of the possible risks for HUMIRA with me before I started
taking it. Every time I've ever heard something about it, I will call them or ask
them when I go back in and we talk about all those things.
When I first learned that HUMIRA was by injection, I was a little intimidated by
it. I went home, talked to my husband about it, and he said, "No problem, I'll give
you the injection." For five years he's been giving me the injection. I think I
can now, but it really makes us feel like we're in this together. I don't talk about
the RA every day and I don't live a life full of a lot of pain. I don't feel like
I have a lot of restrictions, but by him giving me the shot, I really feel like
we're in this together and that he really understands. He feels the same way.
I would recommend HUMIRA to other RA patients, and I have. When you find something
that works for you, you want to share it. For me, HUMIRA has done wonders.
One of the most common side effects with HUMIRA is injection site reactions such
as redness, rash, swelling, itching or bruising. Do not try to inject HUMIRA yourself
until you have been shown the right way to give the injections.
Voiceover and On Screen:
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections
include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that
have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. HUMIRA
may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers.
HUMIRA can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers
of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart
failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems,
and new or worsening psoriasis.