Hi Folks...

Had a pretty rough week on the Humira, which I have been injecting since June. Ended up in the ER, sent by my doc, because of crazy rash and bronchitis. The urgent care doc put me on amoxicillian, not realizing this isn't the course of action when on Humira. Anyway, I am feeling better now, after it being confirmed that I do not have pneumonia.

When at the ER, I wrote the following piece. I tend to deal with life stuff through writing, so I thought I'd share with y'all...


Ode to Humira

By Marianne

Note: the stanza should be Roman numeral numbered, I thru V

  1. This drug

Makes me sweat behind my knees

Ooze in places I didn’t know

Contained pores.

I am wet behind the ears,

Not girlish naiveté

But the glut of this biologic

That seems to have taken up


In the grit of muscle and bone.

I touch the back of my neck,

And my fingers emerge dripping

With what keeps escaping.

My body leaks

And shines onto my fingertimps.

There is nowhere I can touch

That is not wet with

The insides of me.

  1. My ankles and feet

Have become slivers

Of disconnected muscle,

Tissue shattered,

Unwilling to support this body

That danced on pointe at age six.

I am betrayed by my own feet,

Study though they may appear,

They harbor no foundational illusions.

I am my grandmother now,

Craving a supportive arm

To brace me, through those first few steps.

I reach out into empty air.

  1. Flares of rash now populate

My skin. I remember

Stretching mornings,

Running my hands down my thighs,

Gently pulling knees to chest,

One at a time,

Sinking into the smoothness of my own skin.

Now my fingers stutter along bumps,

Patches of protrusions that I want to

Claw away

But don’t because I worry

They will erupt into infection sites,

Throaty volcanoes on my body

Announcing their coup of my flesh.

I do not know this skin

Beneath my fingers.

  1. My hands are an altar of scrubbed hygiene

And I remember Sister Marie Charlene’s mantra

“cleanliness is next to godliness”

And I wonder where the sacredness is

In all this scouring,

This daily gouging and purging of day dust

Out of my fingernails,

This sloughing off of self.

My hands are shields of purity

I don’t want to think about what bacteria

Could ingest through my pores

And I still want to embrace everyone, fearless

And unafraid.

  1. My hair gathers in my brush

Handfuls I pull out, toss into the toilet.

The wad of hair separates

And becomes a broken spider’s web, floating, drifting.

There is an ephemeral grace to this water dance,

A human hair lily pad

Minus the flowers.

A whole row of eyelashes, too,

Has disappeared.

I apply three or four layers of mascara,

Painting on that which

Has smeared off

The canvas of my eyes.