So today was my 10th injection of Avonex. Oh yes, 10 whole weeks of being on it! Can't believe it, this time I shan't say time flies when you're having fun as I can think of more fun things then having to inject myself.
So how's it all been going then? Well the first thing I want to say is that from the very start I have felt very positive about starting DMD's, be it a daunting prospect. I am very lucky in the sense that after each of my relapses I have fully recovered although I am aware of some changes in me that I know weren't there pre MS, achy sore legs at times, tiredness that fluctuates in severity and pins and needles are a few of the changes. Having nine weeks off at Christmas time really knocked my confidence and I suppose scared me. The thought that my body or my brain not getting back to normal is very distressing. I know at some point this may be a fact that I will have to face up to but not yet and hopefully not for a very long time....... maybe never ........ We can dream and where would we be without hope.
So after 3 relapse in a year DMD's were offered to me and I chose Avonex. The reason I feel positive about starting DMD's is that if they do the job they are meant to then I will hopefully keep relapses a bay for longer periods of time and in turn hopefully reduce or delay any long term damage. Start them while the goings good I say before any big damage has been done.
I had real mixed emotions about starting Avonex, I was nervous and apprehensive but equally I was actually excited and just wanted to crack on with things. One of things that concerned me a lot prior to starting Avonex was that I would feel wiped out all weekend because of side effects and not be able to enjoy my weekends. So you can imagine my delight to find that apart from the first few weeks where the reactions were pretty rotten, things have settled pretty quickly and although I don't feel 100% the next day it in no way stops me from getting on with life and having fun.
Overall the injections don't hurt but I have to admit that twice when using the autoinjector I caught my finger on the device as the plunger was going down which made me jump and in turn hurt more. After this I lost my confidence a bit and it made me nervous that I was gonna mess things up again. Hubby suggested he did it for me to show me it doesn't really hurt. So he did my following two injections which didn't hurt at all. It was ever so tempting to let him keep doing them but I just couldn't give in like that. I'm a nurse, I'm use to giving injections, I couldn't chicken out of this. This was the first time that having the injections got me down. I just felt sad that I was going to have to do this possibly for the rest of my life. Well last Friday Hubby was away with work so I had no choice but to do it. I just made sure I didn't hesitate too long and pressed the button and voile la, all done. No pain. Happy again. No more feeling sorry for myself back to more positive thinking. If this works for me then it will be wonderful to keep dreaded relapses away for as long as possible or as infrequently as possible. I think the mistake I was making was building myself up for too long before the injection. It's better to barely think about it and then quickly do it. I am considering doing it free hand rather then using the autoinjector because I find it hard to press the button. Each week I say to myself once the deed is done "again it barely hurt, why do I hesitate?"
It's got to be said for all the ladies (and possibly men) who have waxed their legs or other parts of their body that waxing hurts more than the injection. I'm sure in the next few months it will become part of life and I will barely think about it. I look forward to that time!
So now its just a matter of just getting on with things and see how it all plays out. This time last year I had a relapse, it thankfully only lasted about 6 weeks but it was distressing and a very stressful time as it affected my balance and speech again. So who knows if Avonex is keeping a relapse a bay but as each month goes by it is a relief not that I spend all my time focusing on this fact.