Friday, July 04, 2008
literature = free
medicine filled needles = $125/month copay
needle auto-injector = months of the five stages of grief (well, maybe four - I'm not sure 'acceptance' has set in yet), followed by weeks of worry and anxiety and fear
travel bag for the auto-injector and medicated needles = free
plate of milk and cookies to reward yourself for pressing the button on the auto-injector yourself = priceless
Though I really had to fight the urge to crawl under the table (and my dining table is quite tall and would have worked well for me), I persevered and stared that needle straight in the eye. I put the auto-injector on my thigh and it only took me about 5-10 seconds (after eyeing Hubby for one last encouraging look) for me to press the button. I was pleasantly surprised. The needle is very small (the smallest on the market for MS medications) and it's a subcutaneous injection so it doesn't have to go in too deep. The needle didn't hurt much at all...much like a mosquito bite. It certainly was much less painful than the 4x daily finger pricks for the gestational diabetes blood sugar tests! The medicine, on the other hand, did sting a bit but it also wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Holding the button down for a ten-count wasn't too horrible either. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. This was the smallest dose (I'll be getting about five times this much in another month) and the amount of fluid to be injected will double as well. But I'm trying not to think about that (denial is the first stage).
As for the side-effects, they weren't great but not as bad as they could have been. It can take a good six months for my body to "get used" to the medication until I'm seeing slight (or no) effects (and hopefully I'm not one of those who never gets used to them). About 4 hours after I took the shot, pure and utter exhaustion set in. It felt like I'd taken about 4 Benadryl's on top of the other. I could barely keep my eyes open to finish cooking dinner. Kids got down to bed late and I finally crawled to my own bed around 9pm, very early for me. Though I was already on Ibuprofen, I was still running a fever when I went to bed. Sleep was very restless and I woke repeatedly all night long with the fever. I feel groggy and sleepy this morning but nothing I can't handle. I do expect the side effects to keep worsening as I go along (they warn of flu-like symptoms with fever, chills, nausea, muscle-aches, tiredness). The injection site looks like a mosquito bite with a large (quarter-sized) red circle around it. I'd show you a picture of that but hey, it's my thigh! ;)
I'm actually on an introductory program for the medication so it's only $50/month for a year for the medication. In the grand scheme of things, $125 isn't bad considering that, without insurance, it's over $2K a month...and if you look at it that way, Hubby just got about a $24K raise. lol
Keep MS research in your prayers. They're currently working on oral trials of this medication and my doctor is hopeful that it might be out in 2010. I know there are many MSers who are so scared of needles that they simply won't go on the medicine so please keep this medical research on your prayer list. And if you want to pray for me, pray for continued courage, understanding kids and mild, quick side effects.
Posted by The Be Family at 7:10 AM