Thursday, September 10, 2009

My aching Hands

In yesterday's Chronicle there was a GIANT full page ad. The headliner is some three inch letters pronouncing:

"Doing Dishes
could be a splash...and is just one of the daily activities you may be able to do with less pain and stiffness"

The ad is for a new drug called HUMIRA that has been developed for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Not to minimize the daily suffering of the folks afflicted with this crippling disease - but I'm thinking to myself, if I had constant pain all friggin day long, that maybe, just maybe, the washing of flatware may not be any where near the top ten list of things that I would wish I had less pain doing. In fact, I'm thinking to myself that if you have a chronic disease that might preclude you from performing some of the less appealing daily chores, well - - wouldn't that be the one good thing that could come out of it? Sorry, I can't do the dishes - - someone else will just HAVE to.

Beyond that, let's say that doing the dishes was the ONE thing that you really really really wanted to be able to do with less pain. I suspect that you would then need to measure achieving that goal against the side effects of the drug. No problem. The risks in the ad are clearly separated by risks in BOLD, risks in normal type and risks in tiny type. So as not to be a kill joy, let's just focus on the one in BOLD...

"Serious infections have happened in patients taking HUMIRA. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread through the body. Some of these infections have been fatal."

I'd be predisposed to stop right there if I were the one that was deciding. We're talking about scrubbing pots, for Pete's Sake! It wasn't as if they had offered me no pain while being able to continue my life's work as someone who simultaneously installs irrigation systems in the Kalahari while fixing cleft palates on indigent children in the evening. Nope. The best they can come up with is the ability to painlessly remove baked on grease like walking on air.

But, let's say I decide that the risk of TB is acceptable so that I can resume washing dinner plates with ease. I must then consider the "lesser risk" category. Here we have certain types of cancers, allergic reactions, hepatitis B viral reactivation (did you have this before??), nervous systems problems, blood problems, heart failure, and certain immune disorders including lupus-like syndrome (good news that it appears that it's only a lupus look alike. Not the REAL they got that going for them...).

Hmmmm. Big big decision. I'm gonna have to go with no. Unless this drug gives me something a whole lot better than the ability to fill up the sink with hot soapy water and go to town on the piles of Thanksgiving dinner dishes - while coincidentally impaired with the agony of an horrific moist hacking TB cough, a relentless tic in both eyes, the inability to remember why I wanted to dishes in the first place, punishing and sustained sneezing and itching over 90% of my body, and a couple of cancerous carbuncles on both of my knees - I'm just not sold.

Sorry HUMIRA. You need a better marketing team.

1 comment:

2W3 said...

It is much like Olean in Potato Chips. It is much better for you, if you do not mind the "anal leakage." I am all for a good chip, but for that kind of side-effect, it better be one damn good chip!