Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today began with me having to face my own future.

Because people are assholes I have to travel by bus with a cane because I can't keep my balance standing up on a bus. (I also use a cane when I am going for either distance or speed because it helps my balance and that means I don't have to work as hard to walk) I sat in the first seat. It faces the wheelchair seat. Today the wheelchair seat was occupied by a woman in her late 50s/early 60s. I smiled at her when I sat down.

She said "You're so young to have a cane. You must have MS."

I admitted that I did and she said, "I went secondary progressive two years ago. I've been in the chair about 18 months." She went on to explain that she'd been diagnosed in the 90s and had been doing good for 15 years and then started going downhill and all the steroids and DMDs were powerless to stop it. She asked when I was diagnosed and when I told her she proclaimed that I was diagnosed at a "good time" because so much is changing.

Then we had to have the obligatory conversation about CCSVI and what we thought about it and weighing the pros and cons of going to Poland or Cuba or Italy to have the procedure done.

When all that was said and done we just sort of sat there looking at each other. She smiled at me, I smiled back. I realized that I must have a look of abject horror on my face because that is my MS nightmare.

(My full blown absolute terror is unending nerve pain, but the chair is right up there.)

I was also having some panic about starting Copaxone and really reevaluating why I was doing this, but I do know why now. It is very clear.

If 5 or 10 or 15 years from now I have a relapse that fully disables me I do not want to sit there thinking "What if I had done more?"

I couldn't live with that guilt knowing that I had options to put up a fight with this disease and I didn't take them. I've read the scientific literature and there's a track record with Copaxone after coming off Novantrone. There's a 15 year study showing that it does make a difference over longer periods of time.

MS doesn't come with a whole lot of options so I've got to take what I can of what's offered. When I get paid I'm walking down to Unity Yoga and asking if they'll teach someone who has to wear shoes (that has been a deal breaker for 4 other yoga studios). I'm walking every day. I'm watching what I eat and trying to manage my symptoms the best I can.

I also need to lose 30 lbs by the end of September because my cousin Angela is getting married and I am the hot sister.

My left arm has received its first shot. Its reaction is mild and it doesn't hurt. I'm just really aware of it in a way that I have never been aware of of my upper left arm before. Using the auto-injector made it really easy to get to the back of my arm and administer the shot. Tomorrow my left thigh will get the shot and I'm going to try it manually.

That should be, uh, something?

I think I am making the right decision. Joe's super supportive of the whole thing and sat through the nurse-led self-administered injection training with me. Francine was really nice and very patient.

I had convinced myself that it was really, really going to be a stabbing pain, but I didn't even feel the needle go in and thought for a moment or two that the auto-injector had misfired until I started feeling the drug coming into my arm. It was so not a big deal. I had convinced myself of much worse. Anticlimactic is probably an understatement.

I started out this day being really terrified of the future and its possibilities and I'm finishing this day feeling like I am taking an active part in trying to achieve the best future outcome that I can.

I don't like to think about tomorrow much, but tonight I'm pretty content with the choice I made today.

1 comment:

  1. Dunno what to say really. Just that I'm thinking of you and proud of you.