So I have finally got a date through to see the consultant about starting DMDs. I'm seeing them on the 12th of April. Every week, since being told that the plan was for me to start DMDs I have been willing the letter to come through the door and now it has it is a little scary. I am feeling quite positive about it though, a lot of people are wary and against medicines but it may be because I am a nurse that if its needed (and I'm happy with the medication) then it doesn't worry me. As anyone would, I do have concerns about any side effects but I feel for me its worth giving it a go.
Well I've done a bit of reading up about my options and have looked at several websites, the most helpful being MS decisions. It's a really helpful site, great for helping to see what DMD would suit you. So after my research, I've decided on Avonex. It will have to be discussed with the consultant but that is the one I want to go for. I've mentioned before that I often go on the MS societies (MSS) chat pages. I have found this a great source of information and support. I posted a topic about Avonex on there to hear other people's experiences of it and was pleased to get some positive and helpful replies back. I got some good advice about managing the side effects or should I say reactions to it and some positive reports on a reduction on relapses and the severity of them. I found this really encouraging and makes the decision of going on DMDs easier. I mustn't get my hopes up though, just got to wait and see how it goes but if I can reduce the frequency of relapses and severity then that would be fantastic!
So why Avonex? The deciding factor for me was it is a once a week injection, which suits me fine, personally don't fancy doing daily injections or three times a week if I can avoid it. The plan is to have my injection on the Friday eve that way if I get any of the reactions it won't affect me at work. People are often put off by the fact that Avonex is injected into the muscle but in my experience as a nurse injections into the muscle (intramuscular) are often less painful then under the skin into the tissue (subcutaneous) as there are less nerve endings. This is one of the reasons when we give baby vaccines we use a blue needle which is the same as an adult to ensure it is injected into the muscle as it is less painful. From what I have read about the subcutaneous injections there is often more localized reaction around the injection site, which put me off, I didn't fancy getting marks on my legs.
Not sure how I feel about injecting myself but thankfully I'm ok with having injections (done by someone else) and I am experienced at giving injections to patients. Years ago I was mad enough to be the first person my friend ever took blood from! As I said I've had plenty of experience of doing injections, about 9 years so I'm hoping my injection technique is pretty good but we shall see. It's a whole different story injecting yourself I think. But if people out there with needle phobias can do it so can I.
Well I'll just have to wait and see, fingers crossed it all goes well. It's just another part of the journey.