Wow oh wow. Ok, so today was a huge lesson learnt and a major faux par on my part. Note to self: never take methotrexate and then drive!
This morning I went to my local GP for my monthly blood tests. From there I would be heading straight to work, so I packed my bag for the day. While I was doing this, I remembered that I’d been given a new methotrexate injector which in all honesty, terrified me. The needle was as long as my finger (maybe a slight exaggeration, but it was pretty long), and the method was like using a syringe, so I’d physically have to push the liquid into my leg. I’m just putting this out there now, I’m a colossal baby when it comes to things like this, so this new injector had turned me off big time. This has meant for the last two weeks, I haven’t been taking my methotrexate, and while I’m not suffering symptoms, we have our family holiday in August, so didn’t want to tempt fate.
I decided to pack the injection in my bag, in the hope that one of the nurses at the GP practice would show me a quick and easy way to use it. What could go wrong?
When I got to the practice, I was seen immediately. As I went into the room, the nurse mentioned I would also need to give a urine sample – oh bloody hell! Jo being Jo, uses this moment to barter with the nurse. “yeah no worries, so if I do this for you, will you do me a favour?” – I’m laughing so much as I’m writing this right now – what a plum. As though, me peeing in a cup was so life-changing for this nurse, she’d immediately jump to my aid.
She looked at me slightly perplexed, and I explained I was having some issues with my new injector. Basically, I was so terrified of it, I’d stopped using it. She smiled a kind smile which was lovely, as I was feeling a little silly, and went to find someone called Linda who could help me. This has also brought to light that my new surgery has a trained rheumatology specialist which is fantastic. Every cloud and all.
So, Linda came into the room, examined my new injector and showed me how it was used. She also offered to administer it for me there and then. Without thinking, I agreed. She administered the drug, I then had my blood taken, pee’d in a cup and left. All good.
Driving with Methotrexate
As I left and got to my car, I was feeling pretty happy with myself. I’d ticked quite a few boxes this morning. Had my blood done, my urine sample was clear so not crazy infections for me this month and I’d had my methotrexate sorted.
As I made the 9 1/2 mile drive into work, my eyes started to become really heavy, like boulders sitting on top of my eyelids, my head began to spin, and I had cotton mouth? WTF? The drive was becoming a daze, my reactions slowed and I was starting to worry. What if I crashed my car. When the car came to a set of traffic lights, I could feel my body relax and my eyes pleading with my body to shut down and sleep. I really was feeling like if I drove much longer, I’d lose control. Thankfully my office wasn’t too far away.
As I parked the car in the office car park, I sat there for a moment to try and a) figure out how I’d even gotten there – the drive was hell – how I got there in one piece, I’ll never know and b) wake myself up. I hadn’t had that much of a late night, why was I feeling like this? It’s so extreme.
I got into the office, climbed the two stories to my floor and was knackered, and I mean, get to your chair and slump in it, you’re so tired. I went on the internet, put in methotrexate and driving methotrexate and driving and in big black, it states, “Methotrexate injectable solution can cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or use heavy machinery until you know you can function normally”. Damn!
So, the rest of my day was a complete write-off. Tomorrow, an event I’ve been organising for the last three weeks will take place, and so today I really did need my head in the game to get everything sorted; however, all I really wanted to do was curl up under my desk and nap.
I got home today, and yes! I’ve napped for a good hour, and I think I’m going to bed shortly to sleep this off.
What I’m feeling now
So right now it’s 12 hours since I had the injection and I’m still drowsy, dizzy and nauseous – not a good combo. I have the same feeling as a migraine, where all you want to do is sit in a dark room and snooze.
Why I’ve shared this today
So I usually administer the medication on a Friday or Saturday night, just before bed. This means I spend a good 8-10 hours sleeping and when I wake the following day, I’m generally fresh-faced and ready for whatever comes my way.
This is the first time I’ve ever taken the drug in the morning and on a workday, and I can categorically say it will never happen again. I massively misjudged how powerful this drug is, and I won’t be doing it again.
I’ve always stated that since moving from the oral tablets to the injections, I’ve not suffered any side effects. People I know always say that’s great and that they still get hit by the nausea bug if using Methotrexate. Maybe their doctor didn’t share the best time to take it with them, it’s possible. So I thought I would.
If you’ve been prescribed methotrexate and are working out when to take it. The evening! Always take it in the evening – preferably a night before you have a rest day.
Want to know more about Methotrexate?
I’ve found a video from Dr Timothy Lonesky who explains Methotrexate and it’s side effects really well. A good watch if you’re just learning.