Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Mild Case, but . . .

The doctor thinks I have a relatively mild case of MS. My symptoms are suble, and usually, whatever symptoms you have in the first 3 to 5 years is what you'll be dealing with through your life of the disease. So, I'm getting off easy, and I feel very lucky that they caught this with only 1 lesion showing up on my MRI, a little pain in my cheek, a little fatigue, and a little problem losing words.


Did you know all the medication for MS is through injections that I'll have to give myself? I'm lucky that I'm getting the smallest dose and that it is only once a week. However, it's a bigger needle and has to go into a muscle (thigh, rump). I was pretty upset, but I'm starting to come around. I understand how this will help me. It will slow down the disease so it won't be too debilitating too early. And it reduces the number of lesions and relapses I'll have. And that's great. Unfortunately, it won't stop the symptoms I already have, so they will always be with me. Makes sense I guess, there's nerve damage. Can't repair that.

So, the nurse will come and show me and Al how to give the shot. Once a week for the rest of my life, I'll do this. Kind of hard to wrap my head around that. But maybe they'll have an oral medication in that lifetime. And maybe they'll find a way to create this medicine without it costing over $1,000 a month! Again, I'm lucky. I have a husband in the military with a good health care plan. There are ways to get help and insurance for those who need it, but how frustrating to have to be dealing with a disease, an injection, and the costs of it all.

A friend said I was so strong and stoic. Hmmm. I don't think so, really. It's just something that I have to do. I have my moments that I feel sorry for myself. And I imagine that the next day Al is at work, I'll be spending most of it crying into my pillow to release all this stress and fear. But, really, I know how lucky I am. I got diagnosed quickly and early, I got diagnosed at a time when there is medication available that will help, I have good health care and good health insurance, and I've got the support of my family and friends. I try to remember all that.

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