Part 4 - My MS Journey
Medication Therapy for MS;
A Personal Decision

So I put on my big girl panties and gathered all of my medicine pamphlets and got them out of the car and put them on the coffee table. Then, they sat there for another week. My daughter who was in nursing school, and my husband who is a Paramedic, took the bull by the horns. They took on the task of reading about all of the different medications. We sat down after dinner one night and they told me the side effects of all of them and the three of us made the decision together. It is definitely a personal decision and never would I be so intrusive to tell someone what I think they should do. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer concerning which medicine to use for treatment of their MS.

After much consideration I decided, along with support from my family, that I wanted to be on DMD (Disease Modifying Drug) therapy. Personally, I felt that the potential benefits outweighed the potential side effects. I feel thankful that I have a form of MS that has treatments available. We chose, unanimously, what we felt was the best option for me. Still, I was a little apprehensive as I chose injections and that meant getting a shot every day.

After the decision about the medication was made, I met with my neurologist to let him know about my medication decision. I was very pleased that he thought we chose wisely. The fun part comes when you involve the insurance company. You’ve chosen to take a medication, you’ve chosen your drug of choice, but now you have to worry if your insurance company will be on board and pay for it. After a little back and forth, they conceded.

I received my injections via mail delivery. I couldn’t take them until I was trained by the home health nurse that had been assigned to me. She had to train me and a family member and needed to be present for the first injection. It sat for about a week and a half waiting to get on the schedule.

I was so anxious the evening the nurse came to the house. It was all so surreal. It was hard to believe how quickly my life had changed in the blink of an eye. I had a hard time focusing on all of her instructions, so I was very thankful that my husband and daughter were present. After being told of all of the possible reactions I could have to the injection, I was relieved when I managed to get through without any incidences. The nurse was very kind. She scheduled a follow up appointment with me four weeks later to check my skin to see how it was reacting to the injections. She continued to check in with me throughout the first two years.

The drug company nurses continue to be a great support. Just recently, after almost four years of taking the medication, I had my first “classic” reaction to the medicine. I reached out to the 24 hour support line nurses and they were so helpful and reassuring. Thankfully my husband was with me also and was my true calm in the eye of that very scary storm.

I sustain myself with the love of family - Maya Angelou


Click here to read Part 5 of Karen's Journey

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