Since Rituxan wasn't really giving me any relief, it was decided I try the injectable Actemra - You may be asking yourself what exactly is UCTD? Below is a description that is straight from the horses mouth. The NIH.
Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) is an autoimmune disease that can affect several systems in the body. Connective tissue disease (CTD) is classified as undifferentiated CTD when signs and symptoms are consistent with a CTD, but do not fulfill the diagnostic or classification criteria for one of the previously defined CTDs (for example, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus). Symptoms of UCTD vary, but more common symptoms include Raynaud phenomenon, arthritis, joint pain, fever, and symptoms involving the mucous membranes and skin such as dryness in the eyes and mouth, ulcers in the mouth, sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity), or hair loss. Various other symptoms may be present and may additionally involve the lungs, heart, muscles, or nervous system.
The underlying cause of UCTD is unknown, but it is a type of autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and mistakenly attacks a person's own healthy tissues. The diagnosis is made by ruling out other conditions that can cause the same symptoms, aided by blood and urine tests, and imaging studies such as X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. Treatment usually includes the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs, and/or corticosteroids. People with photosensitivity may be helped by avoiding prolonged exposure to sunlight, and those with Raynaud phenomenon should avoid exposure to extremely cold temperatures.
Last updated: 2/11/2019
With that said, Thursday 08/06/2020 evening with an anxiety that cannot be put into words, I sat with the injectable on my lap waiting for it to get to room temp. After about 45 minutes or so I decided (although being scared AF at the box warnings, it was time. For those who have never used a pen that is already preloaded, it was pretty cool. Although I have a EPIPEN (never have had to use it thank goodness) I had never used anything of the sort. It was easy shmeasy and simple as can be to administer. I can only hope and pray that this does the trick for me and my flare! I did experience what I believe to be "common side effects" although not horrible. I will update again as I continue this NEW weekly ritual on Thursday evenings.
All My Love~ M