How Dupixent Has Helped
Pharmaceutical drugs can be a pretty scary step. So scary, in fact, I almost didn't take the leap.
Was getting started with Dupixent hard?
It's been two months now. Two solid months of using a drug I swore I would never take. Even staring at the injection in my doctor's office as it came to room temperature was terrifying. The nurse came in multiple times to administer the first dose, and I kept making up an excuse to wait.
When I ran out of excuses, I went with my gut (literally, that's where the shot goes), and I am so glad I did.
What does my skin feel like now?
I am over 7.5 years into dealing with topical steroid withdrawal and all the conundrums it drags in its wake. I had battled multiple flares and relentless dry and inflamed skin, and I was mentally defeated. Waking up every morning with beyond-flaky skin stuck to my face was heartbreaking. I'd cry and then try and pull myself together. Over and over.
But now, with Dupixent, I find myself constantly stroking my skin. My arms feel buttery and light. My neck is like petting a cloud. It feels like a miracle.
Has my confidence changed?
I have been sporting tank tops for the past couple of weeks, and it is fabulous. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to do this. I truly hope one day I can do this while off of the drug, but this is a huge win for me. You feel low when you are constantly catering to your largest organ's irritated skin. Now, I don't even think about my arms.
Itch? What itch?
Holy moly. I barely itch. Like, maybe a patch on my neck that is persistent when it is a day before my next shot. But that's it. I almost go to scratch myself throughout the day because I am so used to it, and then I remember I am fine. I've even thought about not getting acrylics done after another month. Possibly save a bit of money since I am not tearing into my skin.
How has it helped my ability to concentrate?
When I was flaring, it was so difficult to focus on anything. Whether it was washing dishes, showering, or writing these very articles, I just couldn't function like a normal person. My mind was always wandering back to my skin - how it looked, how it felt, how it made me feel. That's all I was able to do. On Dupixent, I have been able to get back to a bit of normalcy. Productivity can go up because I am not constantly worrying about my skin.
Am I still using creams?
No more lathering on layers of moisturizer and having to reapply every hour or two. I probably apply a moisturizer 3x a day to my face in the spots that are still a bit dry. And it's a light moisturizer. Do you know how frantic I would be if I forgot to pack my mini travel emollient while out and about? I'd panic. I'd even use lip balm as a moisturizer sometimes if that happened. But thankfully, that fear isn't as present. It's still in the back of my mind, but the desperation and concern are far less.
How will it affect my relationships?
I am one of the most affectionate people in the world. Touch is my love language. Imagine laying next to someone you love knowing that they are not able to kiss your neck or caress your arm because it's too sore and flared. I'm sure you don't even have to imagine!! It's the worst. To not have that in my life, when it was right beside me, shattered me. I am now welcoming every hug, every kiss, every moment I can so I can bask in my new skin.
What are the downsides?
I honestly can't say for sure if it's Dupixent or just my high anxiety in my personal life, but my sleep has been way off this past month. Like, wake up in the middle of the night with a racing heart kind of off. We shall see if that dies down once I am more settled and less stressed (ha, IF that happens).
I will never say that Dupixent has cured me. I still see the troublesome areas rising as my injection wears off. I know my body is still fighting underneath the surface. I know she isn't healed. But, for now, I think giving her this needed rest is a godsend. Emotionally and physically, I am slowly integrating back into a self that I know can do big things without having to be weighed down by my skin.
So, cheers to Dupixent. Thanks for allowing me some respite during this season of my life.
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