09 December 2021
After years of living with Crohn’s disease, Caroline was hopeful but apprehensive about trying a new treatment for it. The 45-year-old was diagnosed with the condition 12 years ago, and more recently started experiencing ankylosing spondylitis, another auto-immune condition which affects the spine.
After experiencing several bad flare-ups of her Crohn’s last year her consultant suggested an injectable immune suppressant.
Caroline, of Giffnock, near Glasgow, said: “It’s quite nerve-wracking starting a new and potentially very powerful treatment. I’ve had so many different, and varied, experiences in the past that, in some ways, I fear the treatments almost as much as I fear the disease.”
After an initial loading dose at the hospital, Caroline was put in touch with Sciensus nurse Holly, who visited her house to help her with the second dose at the beginning of March.
Caroline said: “She got in touch with me beforehand and spoke to me over the phone. Right from the outset she was just really helpful.
“I was quite nervous about the idea of injecting myself, as well as about the drug itself. The Sciensus Nurse was really reassuring and friendly, but also very thorough and knowledgeable which gave me confidence.”
Holly was able to talk Caroline through the process of injecting, but also ease some of her fears about medication herself.
“She was very compassionate,” said Caroline. “I’ve had a lot of experience with healthcare professionals and they don’t always get that balance of efficiency and care right. She was very generous with her time.
“Everything was really carefully explained to me. It really was just made as comfortable and easy for me as possible. Since then I’ve done my next lot of injections myself at home. I felt confident to do it and not anxious at all, and that’s testament to Holly the Sciensus Nurse.”
Caroline, who volunteers with a charity called the Catherine McEwan Foundation which helps patients with inflammatory bowel disease, will now go on to inject herself every fortnight, and will receive regular monitoring from Sciensus to make sure things are working as they should.