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
Note: the stanza should be Roman numeral numbered, I thru V
- This drug
Makes me sweat behind my knees
Ooze in places I didn’t know
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.
- My ankles and feet
Have become slivers
Of disconnected muscle,
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.
- Flares of rash now populate
My skin. I remember
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
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.
- 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
- 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,
I apply three or four layers of mascara,
Painting on that which
Has smeared off
The canvas of my eyes.