Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DMD=Disease Modifying Drug

I have been on Betaseron for 2 1/2 years now. I don't think it's helping me, but my neuro is advising me to stay on it. The doctors say that without a DMD, you may get worse now or in the future. But, they can't prove it. So, my plan is to continue taking Betaseron until September. That will put me at the 3-year mark. Then, I will assess my situation and decide whether to discontinue it or keep taking it.

All the MS DMD's are injectibles, there is no pill form. I've been on three DMD's in my MS-life. The first was Avonex. Avonex is only taken once a week, but you have to inject it into a muscle in your thigh. I did it for a year, then I could do it no longer. To me, the needle kept looking longer and longer--until it looked like a damn railroad spike!

The second DMD I was on was Copaxone. I took Copaxone for five years. That is taken every day, the needle is short because it's given subcutaneously, and the side-effects were minimal. At the end of five years I felt it was doing me no good, so I stopped it.

There is also Tysabri, which is a once-a-month IV infusion. There have been deaths related to it, there is no way I would take it.

Betaseron is an every-other-day injection, and it's done subcutaneously. With my next shipment in Feb., I will receive the new syringes that have a much thinner needle. That will be nice!

Arnie now gives me the Betaseron injections. Due to my MS tremors, I was finding it harder and harder to do the injection myself. I use what's called an Autoject, which is a device that you cock and insert the syringe into. You press it to the site you want to inject, then you push a button and the Autoject does the injection for you. The last time I tried an injection myself, when I went to remove the needle from my arm my hand jerked and the needle cut my arm. It was then that I took a 2-week break, and then asked my husband to start doing my injections for me.

My husband cannot stand the sight of needles. He is what we call a needle weenie. However, with the way my injections are done, he never has to see the needle. It took a little bit of time, but he has become a great injector.

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