Wednesday, 21 September 2011

MS medication and me

I've said it before but I'll say it again, every person with MS is different.
And that's not just personality-wise but medication-wise too.
But for me, the MS medication round looks something like this.

Every morning I take Tovias 4mg ... I call this the wonder drug because it controls that oh-so-lovely issue of my bladder. In essence it deals with urgency and frequency. So basically, I'm not rushing to a bathroom every five minutes, and as my husband will tell you, this has made long car journeys a LOT more pleasant!

During the day I also take three doses of Neurontin 600mg. (Also called gabapentin) This is usually prescribed for epilepsy but in MS patients it is used to help with neuropathic pain. In my case, that's pain in my feet - something I have moaned about in the past! I've been on this for just three months but already it seems to be working. It's a hard one to work though because you have to build your dosage up slowly and it takes time to get to work. But I have gone through that early stage and thankfully it is taking away some of the more intense pains, especially at night.

Finally, I inject Rebif 44mcg, three times a week using the RebiSmart device (pictured). This is a disease-modifying-drug (which I spoke about before here) and I have to stay hopeful that it's doing what it should be - reducing relapses. This is hard to quantify because there's no knowing if the relapse wouldn't have appeared with or without the drug. But the science says it works, my neurologist thinks I should be on it, and so I'm giving it a go.
The RebiSmart device makes the process a whole lot easier than it would have been when the medication first came on the market. I never have to see the needle and once it's fitted correctly I place the machine on my arm, push a button and it does the injecting for me. I will say it doesn't make the injection any less uncomfortable but it helps.

Finally, I take Ibuprofen 400mg on the nights I inject. This helps stave off the flu-like symptoms that the Rebif ravages on my body. These are something that not everyone will exeprience but they are also a well documented side effect. On one occasion recently I forgot to take the Ibuprofen and it was a night I would not like to repeat any time soon. The pains are unlike anything I have ever experienced before, they rush into every bone and muscle, making a decent night's sleep a distant dream.

So there you have it ... MS medication and me.

Then and now

Today I'm wearing a gorgeous top from the Barbara Hulanicki range for George at Asda. Okay, so I know I got it from a supermarket but this woman founded Biba and the 12 piece collection she has put together is not only bang on the money style-wise but also bang on the money price-wise!
Anyway, I digress.
Three years ago, I would have paired it with the highest heels I could find and walked confidently into work.
This morning, I have had to make do with a pair of sensible flats.
More to the point, I specifically bought the top, not just for its fashion credentials, but because it has lovely long arms - to cover the injection sites you see.
How times change.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Putting myself out there!

The day before I had Charlotte I was filmed by the MS Society for their new website. It has been almost ten months but the media team's hard work has finally come to fruition and the site is now 'live'. It's a fantastic resource of information for anyone diagnosed with MS, and their family and friends too.
Aside from the films, they have re-designed the site so that it's easier to get around and I have to say it's a brilliant 'makeover'!
So, if you fancy a watch I feature in four seperate films - I've posted the first below. It also comes with a disclaimer in that I had Charlotte 24 hours later so please excuse the bloated look!
Can I also say that it's taken me over a week to post this here because I was so embarassed when it first appeared - so please, be nice :)