27 December 2007

I start my IV steroids on a Monday. Just like last time, sleep is hard to come by. This time, I have a little valium to help the process. I'm supposed to take 5mg three times a day. Whether it's my high metabolism or something else, the valium has no affect on me at all. So I stopped taking them. The IV treatment had an immediate affect, more so than the pills the last time. Was there to be light at the end of the tunnel??? Stay tuned.

The day after my last IV bag, I was on my way to visit my cousin who I haven't seen for 7 years. Throw in an aunt, uncle and grandparents and it was going to be a busy week for a vacation. Obviously, the question on everyones mind was the MS. I answered everything everyone asked except my own questions: What does it mean to have MS and not have presented with any symptoms? They myelitis is as close as I've come and it's just an annoyance that keeps me from doing what I used to do.

During my week of vacation, two months worth of Rebif arrived, an auto-injector, and travel case. Look what I have to look forward to when I get home. My week drifts quickly by and it's time to travel home to face my demons.

Arriving home and finding the syringes in the refrigerator and the gun brought everything into stark reality. Up until this point, MS was just something I talked about. My little insulated world didn't come crashing down, but it certainly was rocked. It's Thanksgiving week and I still have two more weeks of steroids to take. They myelitis isn't completely gone, but it's slowly going away.

December 3 . . . I started my injections. The drug company that makes Rebif contracts out and has a visiting nurse come in and illustrate how to inject, answer questions, things like that. Everything that was on the DVD that came with the messenger bag. After watching a friend inject himself with insulin, I think I can manage. It's part of the service, it's free, so I bring it on.

I follow the guide and decide to shoot up around 9:00 PM. It's a couple hours before I usually go to bed, so if I have any side affects, I should sleep through it. I've been pretty pragmatic about the whole shot thing. It's not like I have a choice, I just have to do it. After seeing the tiny needle, what's the big deal.

Instead of using the gun, for myself, I need to do it manually. Call it the cult of manliness or call it whatever you want. I also decided to start off on my stomach. Thinking you can do something is only half the battle, you actually have to do it. After grabbing what little fat I have, I took the cap off with my teeth and then held the needle over my injection site for about a minute and finally made the plunge.

The needle is so tiny that I had to actually double check and make sure it was in. The first two weeks of injections are only 20% of a normal dose. A little minor burning during the injection, I draw out the needle and there's not even a mark. A great first shot.

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