Kelly Clarkson rocks!!
Check out her cover of
Walkin After Midnight.
Patsy Cline is still one of my favorite artists and
Video is no longer up.... if anyone knows where this can be located let me know!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Copaxone - Help or Hinder

Ok, after a much needed argument with my prescription providers pharmacy I finally received my MS medicine, Copaxone. It is a daily injection that I have to do. All I can say is that the first two I did (Thursday and Friday) hurt like hell. That is to say the injection itself did.

I use and auto injector. That helps a lot but let me explain why. Copaxone is injected subcutaneously. This means it goes beneath the skin and not into the muscle. Pretty much the same as with insulin for diabetes. At any rate, you must not inject into the same place so the directive is to rotate through seven different areas (hips, thighs, upper arms and abdomen) over the course of a weeks time. Within each injection area there are multiple spots you can inject.

I started with my left thigh on Thursday night. It hurt... a lot! I think, in part, it had to do with the depth that the auto injector was set to. Yes, there is a depth setting to ensure you don't stick yourself too deeply. I did not suffer any of the other possible side effects as listed in my info booklet so I was happy about that. When I woke up Friday morning I was stiff but I chalked that up to my having been on the lawnmower all day Thursday. I took a couple of ibuprofen and went about my day. I gave myself my injection in my left arm last night. It still hurt but I had adjusted the depth setting a couple clicks more shallow. I may have to go a bit more shallow still. This morning when I woke up I felt like I had been beat with a bat. More ibuprofen in a larger dose. I sure hope it helps.

Now the thing is, muscle stiffness is one of the possible side effects. I can only hope that it is not something that I am going to have to suffer every day. My doctor told me that this, or many of the other side effects, should go away after a time (Couple weeks to a couple months) but the stiffness had better go away. I am not sure I will be my normal happy self if I am stiff all the time. Ok, that's a lie, I am neither normal or happy but that is for a different post.

I guess the short of it all is that I do now have my medication, despite the fact I was supposed to start taking it in early February.... despite the fact my insurance company screwed around with it until March... despite the fact the prescription service screwed around until April... despite the fact I had the basically threaten to obtain an attorney for them to do their job. It seems to me that I spent too much time fighting to get my medicine. I do hope this is not the normal situation for people diagnosed with MS.

I do want to give a nod to the fine people at both Shared Solutions and Chronic Disease Fund. Both of these companies are affiliated with Teva Neuroscience (The maker of Copaxone). Beyond being there to answer my questions both of these groups went well out of their way to help me in dealing with my insurance company. I am not sure I would have my medicine now if it wasn't for their help. A special thanks goes to Jennifer at Shared Solutions. Thank you for following up on my prescription problems. Thanks for just listening to my rants and frustrations about not only the problems with getting my medicine but my worries and fears about my diagnosis.

Well, I think that is all for now. I need coffee and to pack a bag or two. I am going to head to Florida tomorrow morning to visit a long lost cousin (well not really long lost but it just sounds good) and to get away from here for a few days. A mini-vacation if you will. But before I go there is a certain coffee shop I must visit. A certain person I must visit and quite possibly a certain conversation I must have.

Toodles everyone!


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