First signs…

Following Lhermitte’s sign, AKA the Barber Chair phenomenon (the electric shock-like sensations that extend down the spine and all the way to the limbs after flexing the neck) and subsequently optic neuritis on my right eye, it was in early December 2004 that I started various tests. The diagnosis came about a month and a half later – it was Multiple Sclerosis. Up to that day, I didn’t know what MS actually was. The big eye-opener came when I was told that I have to control the disease once weekly by administering interferon beta 1a intramuscularly! Not only was I told that there is actually NO cure for MS but also that I had to use needles in order to control it! I have always hated needles and so the idea of having to inject myself once a week simply devastated me. For a whole month, I amazingly injected myself with no help whatsoever – no problems! I believe that it is after this period of incomplete awareness when I realized what was going on was actually a very serious thing; MS IS an incurable disease that will stay with me forever. After that month I simply could no longer inject myself; I totally blocked. A month of administering the injections with the help of my nurse passed by and I was finally given a personal injector. This was a great help for my troubles. It was so much easier to just put the injection in the injector, press the button and insert the medicine… What a relief! Since then I have been using this little device (long over a year now), but from time to time I do come to think that I might do without it (albeit I never actually tried to do so). The acceptance period was a though one. I believe I am still not over that phase, but I am definitely moving forward on the acceptance scale.

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