As anyone who’s read any of my blogs knows I like throw in an odd quote or two. I was trying to think of a David Bowie quote that would be fitting for the blog since he passed away. All I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks is listening to Bowie on Spotify or watching old clips of him on telly or YouTube. Michelle is sick of him already 🙂 I can’t get enough, he has to be one of the most interesting people ever with some great tunes to match. So finally it dawned on me that Changes is one of his signature tunes and what he was all bout. And changes are exactly what I have had to face over the last year.
It would be pretty easy to quote “we can be heroes just for one day”. Which we certainly can be. In my first blog I talked about a motivational speech called Be Your Own Superhero. But in my case it’s everyday not just for one day. Particularly on a Monday, Wednesday & Friday; injection days. I’ve been injecting myself with Copaxone since October. I was given an option by the neurologist of which drug I wanted prescribed to me. I was posted out dvd’s and information booklets on what was available. There are a lot of drugs out there to help prevent relapses. I take mine in conjunction with trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Michelle and I sat in one night and took note of all the different treatments available and their side effects. Generally they all seemed to provide similar chances of preventing a relapse; between 30 – 40 %. I think Copaxone provides around 35% chance of preventing a relapse. It was slightly lower than some other options but there is much less chance of side effects also. One option was a tablet with a much better percentage rate but there was a history of one fatality as a result of taking it. That was one too many for us.
We met with the neurology nurse and it was agreed that I would be prescribed Copaxone. I was given a Long-Term Illness booklet so it costs me nothing. (On a side note, the MS-society also arranged for me to get vitamin D on the LTI 🌞) The drug company sent a nurse out to my house to show me how to inject. Both my dad and Michelle were there too. We talked through the whole process and then began to practice injecting on a small pouch the nurse brought with her. I slowly practiced piercing through the pouch as if it was my own skin. There’s the option of using a pen to inject also but the nurse recommended just using the needle if I could so that’s what I’ve been doing. There’s loads of different injection sites on my stomach, the tops of my legs and either side of my back just above my waist. Obviously I can’t do the back myself. Michelle practiced on the pouch too – Thank God she practiced! Her first go can only be compared to a scene from Psycho, “That’s a pretty good stabbing motion you got going on there honey, but please remember I’m a human being”. 😀
Clearly her technique has rapidly improved and I’m still here to tell the tale 🙂 I get a reminder text message at 7a.m. each injection day. It really is routine now. Copaxone has to be stored in the fridge but I leave one needle out overnight so it’s not too cold when I inject. There are still side effects. Every time I inject it’s like having a bee sting that can last up to a couple of days. Aloe Vera usually soothes it so I lash that on just after injecting. I was told I may suffer symptoms similar to heart/panic attacks but they would pass. I’ve been lucky not to have any of those kind of experiences yet. I have to get a good chunk of skin to inject into which is easy to find on the stomach but not so much on the legs. We’ve got a routine now for the back which is injected into every 5th and 6th injection day. As I can’t see what’s going on Michelle has to talk me through it which really puts me at ease. I know I’ve mentioned about being your own superhero but it’s ok to rely on other people to be your hero sometimes.