On the 30th April there is an anniversary. I will be celebrating three years since I had to start on a DMD (Disease Modifying Drug) to control my MS relapses. Now when I say I will be celebrating, I doubt there will be bubbly and cake, but I will be celebrating the fact that this particular DMD has been working for me. The DMD in question is Plegridy. And may I add, over these past three years, Plegridy and I still have an ongoing love-hate relationship!
I have had to learn to love Plegridy more than hate Plegridy as it has been working for me. I guess I am fortunate that I found a DMD which my body didn’t reject and I could happily stay with. But, to find a DMD which works for me and I am happy to stay with, still comes with those “oh so lovely” side effects!
I self-inject with Plegridy under the skin, every two weeks on a Friday night. I take the Plegridy injection out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature, usually for an hour. I get injection site reaction marks which do fade, but this means I need to rotate the injection spot every two weeks – back of the arms and thighs. When Plegridy has reached room temperature, and after Plegridy and I have a “stare off” for about 20 mins, I then inject.
After injecting, the used injection goes into the Sharps bin, I get myself a glass of water, take a couple of pain killers and off to bed I go! For the next two days after injecting I suffer with flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, body aches). For another two or three day after the flu-like symptoms, it then feels like a have a small cold (runny nose, sniffling, blocked nose). I will then feel better than I did, and the cycle starts all over again!
I have been doing this for three years. A friend of mine keeps telling me I’m brave. I don’t feel brave, but I guess I am. I have to self-inject if I want to control my MS relapses, and believe me, I do want to control my MS relapses. Anyone who has experienced an MS relapse will do anything they can to prevent/halve the number of relapses they encounter.
So, every two weeks I will self-inject with Plegridy. Every two weeks I will deal with the side effects as I know Plegridy has halved my relapses. Since I have been injecting with Plegridy, my relapses have halved. Also, my MRI scan in 2018 showed no new lesions or change in existing lesions – my last MRI scan to 2018, was two years previous.
I love how Plegridy is helping me in controlling my relapses and keeping the lesions stable, but I do hate the fact that every two weeks is a reminder I have MS. But in comparison, my flu-like symptoms are nothing to the uncertainty of an MS relapse!
Self-injecting does get easier though, and I now have my own little Mantra which I repeat before I inject. I repeat how Plegridy is my friend and is helping me. It may sound silly, but this helps me tremendously.
At the end of the day, self-injecting with Plegridy is just something I have to do, and I am grateful for Plegridy. Sometimes in life we don’t get a choice on how things will pan out. I never envisaged MS would invade my body and my life at the age of 38 years of age. I don’t have any regrets though. I had an interesting and awesome life before MS decided to live with me, and I will continue to have an interesting and awesome remainder of my life – MS fatigue permitting! We can all still have a life regardless if MS decided to move into our lives, and for the time being, just won’t budge!
For anyone who is about to start on a DMD, and indeed Plegridy, I sincerely wish it works for you. It may be a reminder that we have MS, but please remember it is just a reminder. We can all still have a life, a wonderful MS life.
Keep smiling. x
Hello! My name is Toni, and I am a 46 year old Aussie now living in the UK. I love nature, practising Yoga & Meditation, coffee and naps! Oh, and MS has been living with me for 9 years.
You can follow my MS journey at mymsrollercoasterride.wordpress.com