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Stelara! The Best Birthday Gift A Girl Could Ask For!

While I haven’t always had the best luck with my health or overall healthcare, I will say things have been looking up for me lately.

I decided to document my day going to an appointment with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease specialist. I drove 2 hours to see this physician and showed each step of the process through Instagram stories.

I documented most of my day, but intentionally left out the conversation with my doctor. My reasoning for this is simple: the conversation was personal and serious. Although I show a great bit of my life online, at times I do want to keep certain things private.

Stelara.

One huge thing we discussed was treatment options. Stelara to be exact. I have friends taking this medication and I’ve heard great things. * I’m in no way recommending this drug and HIGHLY encourage you to speak to a medical professional before making any decisions on treatments or medications. * When my doctor recommended it, along with a followup about his research and how optimistic he is about the drug, I couldn’t help but feel that same excitement.

Because I have friends who have been on this medication for a while, I thought I knew the basics of what it was. An injection. I didn’t know the loading // initial dose was actually an infusion. When I started Humira (wayyy back when) it was pretty simple. No infusion required. I assumed Stelara would be the same.

When my doctor asked me my thoughts on the treatment (recommendation) I said two things:

  1. I’m excited because I’ve reached my out of pocket max for the year so the drug is covered at 100% (for the rest of 2019).
  2. How will this impact my travel?

I’ve not always the easiest person to get to open up, especially with doctors. For some reason it just isn’t a very comfortable experience for me, but I felt it was important. The problem didn’t seem to be with the injection. I can figure out how to get an injection every 8 weeks. The problem was the infusion. I saw my doctor on a Wednesday. I was leaving the country that following Monday! How in the world would anyone be able to pull this off in such a short amount of time?

My answer: No idea.

Somehow, my doctor and his amazing staff were able to get the medication approved and covered by the insurance, information and everything sent to the infusion center and me scheduled all in less than 48 hours!

Thank God, they had an early morning opening, so as you are reading this I have taken a 2.5 hour drive (to and from) the infusion center, had my first dose of Stelara, caught a 2 hour flight and now?! Ready to take a nap!

Almost 12 hours after the infusions and I honestly don’t feel anything. I was slightly dizzy after the infusion, I don’t feel it anymore. My achy bones ache slightly less although the infusion site is sore and red / swollen. * This happens with me pretty often. My veins are babies and can’t handle much stress. *

My birthday is Sunday and this is honestly the BEST present I could have gotten. I am so so grateful, happy and hopeful!

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What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019