Wednesday, June 29, 2005

MS Clinic and Treatment Options

Current Meds:
1. Prednisone (12 tablets {60mg} in morning for 2 weeks then 4 tablets {20mg})
2. Citalopram 10mg once daily
3. Lorazepam 1mg at bedtime

Current Symptoms
Physical: fatigue - mild to heavy in mornings and late evening
Sensory: Optic neuritis in left eye
Psychological (memory/mood): none
Medication side effect?: Nausia, rapid pulse, aggitated, blurry vision, headache, fever

My eye sight was improved yesterday when I picked up some prescription glasses. The one eye that I've been seeing out of was always under stress from constant strain of trying to cover distance without the other eye. When I put my glasses on the relief was immediate. I was actually able to read the licence plates on the car in front of us on the way home from the mall. I was filled with joy, reading the numbers and letters out loud as if I had just learned to read for the first time. That being said, not much improvement in the blind eye.

Today I have my first appointment at the MS clinic with Sharon Walker. I met her last week. She's fabulous. The health care system is alive and well in Canada with people like that manning the stations. She is so helpful. She even let me have her seat when I was standing in her office. All it takes is one person to understand to brighten your day.

I have been reading about my treatment options for MS in anticipation of this meeting. I want to be as informed as I can be about my choices to ensure I make the right one. I suppose I can talk about that for a few minutes here.

In Canada, there are 4 drugs being used to treat MS at various stages of the disease: Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, and Rebif. They are all a bit scarry at first because they all involve self-injection. For chem majors out there, Copaxone is a glatiramer acetate the rest are interferon beta drugs.

Avonex is one IM (Intramuscular) injection per week, Betaseron is three to four SC (subcutaneous) injections per week, Copaxone is one SC injection everyday, Rebif is three SC injections a week. From what I've read so far, and I'm not fully versed in the use of these drugs yet, but the only drugs I'm interested in taking right now are Rebif or Avonex. Hopefully, my doctor will be able to help me decide what is best for me. Well, duh! That's his job.

I've really been minding the heat today and yesterday. It makes me so tired and I feel sick to my stomach today. I came close to loosing breakfast this morning. I hate being nauseous, worst feeling ever. Not much I can do except trying to rest before my appointment. Off to rest then.


At 6:54 AM, Blogger Celeste said...

Missed you at Judo last night. We were hoping to see you and say hi. I understand the injection phobia...when Matt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (when he was ten), we both had to learn quickly how to do injections. I practiced on an orange for my first two tries and then went right for his thigh! Now when he talks back (LOL)...Now it is just part of his day and routine...four or five finger pokes for glucose testing and three to four injections of insulin...we joke that he is a pin cushion!
Sounds like you have some great medical care. You are smart to do your homework and to build a solid relationship with your healthcare providers. The more you get to know each other the more understanding and trusting your relationships will be.
Good luck today!
Peace, Celeste

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Iain Dughlais said...

Sorry I ducked out early, perhaps I'll see you tonight!


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