If you ask 100 individuals on the street, “Assume tomorrow you will be diagnosed with a chronic disease. It will impact your life greatly. Daily treatment options will be: 1. A daily pill or 2. A daily injection – Which will you choose?” All 100, in my estimation, would choose option 1. In fact, any pre-30 year old version of me would probably answer, “For the love of all that is good in this world, I choose daily pill.”My familiarity with needles quickly changed in the years leading up to my diagnosis. Drawing blood was a common occurrence. At The Mayo Clinic, while testing me for multiple sclerosis, they drew spinal fluid.
My spinal tap deserves its own posting…and one day it will receive it. I will say this; it was – without a doubt - the most painful experience of my life.Shortly after being diagnosed with MS, I started up on Copaxone. At the time, it was a daily injection that I gave myself. Recently, Copaxone began offering a “Three-Times-A-Week” dose, which I happily switched to. An injection is still required but no longer every day of the week. I rotate, throughout my body, where I inject myself (primarily, the thighs, hips and stomach area.)
Five years ago, in addition to Copaxone, I began IVIG. Every four weeks, on two consecutive days, an IV is put into my arm for about five hours as the medicine slowly drips into my system.By now, I should probably be used to it when I hear “Big Stick” right before the needle enters my arm but honestly I still dread it as much as I did the first time. So I stare off into the distance, imagining a world without MS or being pricked with a needle on a regular basis. Sometimes, I hear “Deep Breath” or, “Here We Go”…the preparatory words really don’t matter; they are background music to my alternate universe.
I close the #10 Thing You Might Not Know About (My) MS with an ode/haiku to needles…
Needles, go away
Don’t come back some other day
Yes! “Big Stick,” no more