What Is Multiple Sclerosis?Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the nerves of the central nervous system (CNS) degenerate. The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord. They process information from our environment and control voluntary muscle movements to allow the body to do certain things. This neural system works efficiently, unless there is a disease process affecting the pathways in the spinal cord and brain. Multiple sclerosis is one of the diseases that can affect these pathways and results in the destruction of myelin, a covering or insulation for nerves, that improves the conduction of impulses along the nerves and also is important for maintaining the health of the nerves. The demyelination (also known as plaques) disrupts the transmission of information in the CNS and leads to the symptoms seen in multiple sclerosis. **Web MD**
Today is the first day of my injectable therapy. My hubby and I went with the drug choice Copaxone for treatment and prevention of my MS. Copaxone, also known as Glatiramer acetate, is a daily injection of a combination of four amino acids (proteins) that affect the immune system. It is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This drug is known to block myelin-damaging T-cells. Copaxone is used to prevent relapse of MS episodes and help prevent further damage to my brain.
Along with the daily injections of the Copaxone I will go into my provider's nurse treatment room and be given an IV full of steroids. The combination of these two drugs will be a routine for me for at least the next 6 months. After that point in time I should be only on the daily injection of Copaxone.
I am not even close to accepting the fact that I have to take a daily injection at this point, therefore I am no where near being able to give myself the injection either. My hubby spent some time not only researching the drug but also learning how to administer the drug for me. This morning was my first injection. Thankfully my hubby agreed to do the injections for me.
The injection itself was not so bad. The needle is small in it's size. My hubby pinched an area on my hip and then injected the needle there. It was after the injection that I started to feel some a burning sensation and it almost felt as if a knot was in my hip. My hubby carefully explained to me this was normal and the liquid should dissipate shortly. He was very gentle about the entire situation and I could tell was trying to reassure me. I was very thankful for him today and made sure to not only thank him but thank God for him.
There have been many times I have spoken to people in my life who tell me that they are on some kind of daily medication or injection. (Usually diabetes) I always felt a sense of regret for them. I would think how awful it would be to not only have the inconvenience of taking a daily shot but also the daily reminder that your own body is too sick to care for itself. I would count myself fortunate to not have that in my life at any capacity and was sure I would fight tooth and nail to change my diet or lifestyle to prevent daily medications. I would tell myself if it were me I would do this... or I would do that... anything NOT to have to take daily medication or shots. Yet here I am.
I mentioned in my first blog when I came out with having MS how when I was standing in the Neurologist office I felt the strength leave my body. This feeling was a big deal for me and honestly took me by surprise. I have been a fighter all my life. I have fought since I was a child in many areas of my life that most can not understand. I fought for my day to day survival, my sanity, my income, my rights, my safety, my family, my marriage and for my heart. All of these fights have made me who I am, good and bad, and have brought me to this place in my life where I continue to fight. But at that moment in my doctor's office I really felt the fight just leave me.
Does this mean I am not up for this fight? No! Of course I am. I want to live. I want to be healthy. I want to show my family that we can take on anything that is thrown our way AND we can overcome it. But I am at a point in my fight that I have not been in for a very long time.... "Fake it till you make it"
"Fake it till you make it" use to be a mantra I would tell myself (and my clients) over and over again while getting healthy. There were many days in my transformation period where I did not want to get up two hours earlier than everyone else to get a workout in. I did not want to leave my hubby and go to the gym a second time that day. There would be days I just had to go through the motions to get the work done but wasn't really feeling motivated to do it. I think we all have areas is our lives like this. Now, I am in that area of my life again.
Don't get me wrong, I WILL fight MS and give it all I have but currently I am in the "fake it till you make it" stage. I do not feel like I have the fight left in me, I do not feel like I have the desire to take on anything else and I do not feel powerful and strong. Coming out with my disease brought a lot of support from all of my friends and family and was the right thing to do. It also left me feeling overwhelmed and small. It's almost as if the world is swallowing me up and I am frantically trying to grab hold of something or someone to pull me out.
It's easy to stand on the outside and tell someone they are going to be fine, or not to worry you will live a normal life. But to be the one on the inside and knowing THIS is not normal for me is a challenge. My normal life is not a daily injection and IV therapy. My normal life is not a daily reminder that my body is sick and there is a disease that is currently trying to harm me inside of it. Normal is not normal anymore.
However.... I hold on to the points my hubby keeps repeating. (I know he keeps saying them because he knows I doubt myself and I am not HEARING them at this moment in time) He tells me It's okay to feel weak and vulnerable. It's okay to seek help from modern medicine to help me fight this. I have made it through the hardest part of the disease when I didn't even know I had it. I began this battle long before today and I am winning it already, I just have to keep up the fight. It's okay to feel doubt and be afraid and it's okay to be angry.
I have to give MYSELF permission to feel a certain way at first because it's a part of the process of re-creating who I am and who I need to be. Allowing myself time to grieve over this disease is a healthy part of the healing process. Sure, I can say all I want "I got this" but inside I am a small child needing some comfort to allow myself time to accept, fight and then overcome.
Letting go of the need to try and be perfect in the eyes of everyone and allowing myself to seek the support and help of others is the way I will gain my strength and hopefully come out even stronger. The love of my hubby and kids will be another and my faith in God that He will deliver me will get me through these times. All these avenues will be where my strength comes from and will hopefully come back to me ten fold.
Today I am weak.........but the day is not over yet!