Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Shot Night

My father is a Pediatrician...a very good, actually. I am fairly certain he realized early on that his daughter would NOT be following in his footsteps, and I am fairly certain that this realization came when he realized that I was a bit squeamish around things like needles and blood.

Now to be fair, I am sure no one out there really enjoys needles. But some people do better than others. My husband has given blood to the Red Cross every year for as long as I can remember, as do many people. As for me? Oh no...I never gave blood. Never. The thought of purposefully choosing to have needles stuck in me and my lifeforce drained out of me (only a pint, but still!) just seemed horribly, horribly awful. Not to mention every time I ever had to give blood in the form of a finger prick or one small vial...I basically passed out. And I am really pale to begin with, so when I turn "white as a sheet", I practically turn blue. I think I scared alot of poor lab techs over the years with my theatrics. But I couldn't help it! Needles make me want to faint!
Correction: Needles used to make me want to faint.

Then came last summer when I was told that the only surefire way to slow the progression of my degenerative disease was to Inject myself...with NEEDLES. I was terrified. I was sure there was no way I could A) endure injections for the rest of my life and B) actually stick myself with said injections!

I now take Betaseron, which is a sub-cutaneous (aka "under the skin") injection I do every other day. Some days it is just part of the routine. I wash my face, I brush my teeth, we watch the Daily Show, I inject myself with immune-suppressants, I try and read a page or two of my book, or my eyes aren't working and I cuddle with my husband while he reads and we both fall asleep. No big deal. Other days I am pretty sure I would rather take on a pack of wild boars than have to stick myself with Another needle.

Sometimes it doesn't even hurt. Sometimes I swear I have managed to find the one-inch patch on my body where all my nerves are bundled together and it stings horribly and then afterwards it is Still sore. Sometimes it bleeds horribly and then bruises even worse. Sometimes I can't even find the injection site after I do it. Sometimes I am able to imagine it as a shiny, iridescent magical potion which whooshes into my body and then fills me with shiny, iridescent (very tiny) MS-fighting mermaids that swim up towards my brain and whack MS with their mermaid tails! Ok, really, I only imagined that ONE time, but I might have had too many Lyrica/Baclofen/Klonipin cocktails that night...I dunno. ;-)

Most "shot nights" I just want to pretend that it isn't "shot night" and crawl into bed and fall asleep. But then I remember why I do it. I do it to piss off the MonSter and let him know that I am not giving up any time soon and I that I intend to give him a war to remember. I do it so that I can have more Good Days than Bad Days. I do it so I can stay as healthy and as lesion-free for as long as humanly possible. Forever would be best.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

I was reading your blog to Doug and he said he knows exactly how you feel about having to deal with the needle thing. Like him though, it is a necessary evil for you and I am so sorry for you both having to deal with chronic illness.
God bless you Caroline and your sweet husband - labor on and keep pushing that MonSter back - as you said "Rock ON" and ON and ON!!!