Monday, November 11, 2013

Needles, Sweet Needles

What do needles have to do with MS? For me, it means everything, a way of life, and extremely ugly marks all over your skin.

The current medication that I take is Copaxone, it's supposedly the safest one out there, but it means that you feel like a drug addict every night while taking your injections.

The only major side effect is swelling and itching of the injection site, which pretty much happens every time. The extreme major side effect but rarely occurs is when you feel like you have a heart attack, pass out, and chest pains for thirty minutes after the injection. Luckily, I have never had the latter before.

My mother (you can read about how we both have this wobbly disease here) began her MS treatment on Copaxone, switched to Gilenya for a short period of time and had a bad experience, then switched back. Basically, all we know in our family is Copaxone.

For those who don't know, it's a daily injection that I give to myself around 9:30pm every night. I have about 15 minutes of slight pain and then life goes back to normal. I rotate each day so I don't begin to have indentions in my skin. Here's a nice photo of the injection sites.

Tracking Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Injections with COPAXONE iTracker™

I've had several issues with injecting in my legs with knots that would stay for weeks. I began giving the shots by hand, rather than with my Auto-inject device, and I have noticed a much better reaction.

I enjoy this drug because it is one of the safest, but the nightly injections do get old. However, I don't mind and I hope that I continue to feel this way. I know many MS patients get very tired of using shots and switch to different medications in order to get away from the shots.

With that being said, it would be so much easier to take a pill but I want the safest drug on the market, even though it's a needle.

Needles don't have to be bad, I look at it as a way of life, something that I have to do in order to live a much fuller life.