Last night was my fourth Avonex injection. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been on MS medication for a month now. So how has it been?
My side effects definitely lessened over the first month. I had a fever each of the first three weeks, but each week seemed better than the last. Last night’s injection brought on no fever at all (unless I totally slept through it), though I did wake up feeling really achy/dehydrated this morning and today’s Shred workout totally wiped me out. Some people say that it takes them as long as six months to get used to the medication, but I’m hoping my body will get used to it before school starts.
Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that this is actually part of my life, this injection-once-a-week thing. I know there is absolutely nothing I could have done to keep myself from CIS/MS, but it just seems crazy… to open the fridge and see the boxes of needles in there, to keep a separate calendar of injection dates/times/locations, to get incessant calls/emails from the various “support” outlets checking in to see how I’m doing/feeling.
Yesterday marked two months since my diagnosis. Funny, because it feels like it was yesterday. I recently went on my health insurance website and saw that my diagnosis is officially listed as Multiple Sclerosis (since CIS is technically just a stage of MS). There is such a difference between hearing those words and seeing them under my name. Seeing them under my name makes it all the more real that this is part of who I am… at least on paper, at least where United Healthcare is concerned.
Almost every day, I think about MS in some way, whether it’s an injection day or not. During the Level 3 Shred workout, Jillian encourages the viewer to “think about all the reasons you bought this DVD in the first place.” I’m sure a lot of people spend that time thinking about weight loss. I spend that time thinking about MS, thinking about how badly I want to be able to walk, run, and be active for the rest of my life. I try to visualize my axons magically being covered by an impermeable myelin sheath. I try to imagine that my workout that day will be the difference between my brain fighting itself and not, even though I know that’s silly.
I hope that at some point there will be a day when I don’t think about it at all, but I don’t know if that’s even a reasonable thing to hope. I’m just trying to be as positive about it as possible. I mean, what other choice is there?