I am getting tired and frustrated with my health insurance provider. Really. On December 15, 2017 my dermatologist, Dr. Maverakis, prescribed a home narrowband Uphototherapy unit. This unit, costing about five-thousand dollars, would treat both my psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema). But about 100 days later insurance says no. Again.
Happy Valentine's Day! I can't believe Lori and I met about 25 years ago at U.C. Davis as undergraduates. We bonded very quickly over the experiences of living with lifelong health condtions. No one is going to be perfect at supporting another with challenging health conditions. But keeping a vow is not about being perfect. For us, it’s about friendship and being present. That’s the best gift that we could give each other.
I started my Tremfya (guselkumab) journey on Monday, August 21, 2017. On December 11, after three injections (week 0, 4, 12), I reached that interim endpoint of 16 weeks. Here I evaluate my experience so far with Tremfya, including efficacy, side effects, and how I'm feeling overall. The "verdicts" in this post reflect a moment in time, and certainly are not final.
Every winter, I sense the need to adjust how I care for my skin. Freezing cold night temperatures give way to cold, shortened days. My wife likes to turn up the heater, as do my workplace and the stores I frequent. I enjoy a hot shower too. But I know that my psoriasis and eczema don't necessarily take well to dry, heated air and long, hot showers. My years of experience have helped me develop ways to manage any inevitable winter flare-ups. Here are my five recommendations with a few of my doctors' thoughts peppered in.
For much of the last year I looked forward to taking Tremfya (guselkumab) to treat my severe chronic psoriasis. My dermatologist suggested I hold off on the new IL-17A inhibitors until it was FDA approved. Now almost three months into the new treatment I am asking a question I hoped not to need to ask: what’s next?