Mission accomplished! I’m now officially a member of Copaxone’s “Shared Solutions” family. Although my switch from Rebif to Copaxone wasn’t part of my game plan, I knew it was medically necessary to bring my WBCs and liver levels back within normal range. Finally, I did receive the autoinjector and my training appointment with their nurse. Phew! Let the fun begin!
I received a phone call from Robin (Copaxone’s “Shared Solutions” Nurse) letting me know she’ll arrive in 30 minutes. I immediate thought…30 minutes!!! Is there an echo here?!?
You’d think this would be no problem for me. After all, I’ve been injecting for 15 years. Before long, my stomach began to flutter, my chest was tight and yes, my anxiety was full-blown! I found myself saying, “deep breaths, settle down, you got this.”
The doorbell rang, the puppers began to bark as I made my way to the door. I was greeted with Miss Robin’s beautiful smile. She confidently shook my hand and said hello. Isn’t it amazing how a simple, friendly smile can instantly put you at ease?
We proceeded to our dining room table to begin training. I was so grateful hubby was home for her visit. Talk about support! Everything I needed for the injection was nicely laid out…complete with my notepad…type A wrapped way tight here! 🙂
Of course, I had researched and watched several youtube videos showing the injection process using an autoinjector. I quickly learned injecting Copaxone was very different from Rebif, hence, I was scared to death! Rebif was a preassembled, prefilled, single-use autoinjector. Prep your site and inject. Copaxone was like a jigsaw puzzle to me…so many pieces needing to perfectly fit together to inject. Talk about a new process here: assemble single dose (which is at room temp) into auto injector, remove cap, adjust depth for needle to reach just under the skin (these are recommendations Robin provided based on fatty tissue of each injection area), prep injection area with alcohol, place auto injector on skin, press the release button, wait ten seconds, remove, and apply ice to area. Your needle is then removed / cut with a handy little gadget that holds nearly 1.000 needles. Dispose your syringe into a biohazard container. Ta-Dah! “You did it!!!” Praise the Lord. I survived!
PROS: Inject 3x a week, being proactive – choosing to be on a DMD (disease modifying drug) for my MS.
CONS: Injection site reactions. Significant welting post-injection. Icing for 30-60 minutes does help.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of the post-injection side effects. The good news is that I didn’t experience the common side effect that mimics a heart attack. Always could be worse. What’s important to me is compliance. From past experience, I know and value the benefits of an effective DMD and its role in protecting you! I never want to experience times like that again.
Ironically, yesterday our Pastor was preaching about trusting Him despite circumstances we all may face. A message I needed to hear and be reminded right now? I wanted to stand up and shout, “Are you talking to me!?!” Lord, I get it and appreciate your willingness to be my strength and comfort during times of struggle. Don’t know how I could do it without my faith! How about you? What gives you strength and comfort during difficult times?
“Count Your Blessings”
~ This post is my personal experience and outline of what I’ve learned. If you have any concerns or questions, contact your physician for clarity and recommendations! 🙂