Things NOT to do when you have multiple sclerosis, things your neurologist might not mention
A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to do an injection of my DMD. For all you MS newbies out there, DMD actually stands for Disease Modifying Drugs.
I’m not being condescending defining that for you; I only recently discovered what it stood for myself. Before that I thought it actually stood for the Don’t Make me Do them meds or those Damn MS Demon shots.
Despite all the oral medications that have been recently developed, I’m still doing shots. Even though I don’t like them, they seem to be working.
In order for me to get through the self injecting process, I need to use the auto injector. One push of an awful button and then I’m done. But this time, when I pushed the button, nothing happened.
As far as I could tell, I had done everything right. In investigating this issue, I held the tip of the injector up to my face and looked inside. HUGE mistake.
The injector fired suddenly and thankfully, miraculously, I was able to jerk my hand quick enough to keep the meds and the needle from my eyes. Instead, the medication dispersed all over my thermal Bruins blanket which was just silly. I have owned this blanket for 15 years and it is still one of the best Christmas gifts ever! It is super warm, super strong and super healthy and it doesn’t need any drugs.
(Unlike the time I used one of my injections to fix a wobbly coffee table but you’ll have to read MS Madness! for THAT story.)
Anyway, after the auto injector blunder I realized I had just learned a valuable lesson in an MS thing not to do. Then it occurred to me that this incident happened on 12/17, the five year anniversary of my MS diagnosis and I didn’t even realize it at the time.
I never forget the date of my diagnosis but I also never remember it either. (If that makes sense to you, you may have MS.)
The coincidence of the trouble with this particular shot made me think back to the many other lessons I have learned on my MS journey. I decided the right thing to do would be to share them with you.
So here you go- I hope they help.
Note- not all of them are MS related but they are all MS related.
(If that makes sense to you then, again, you may have multiple sclerosis.)
The first one we already covered- don’t look down the barrel of a loaded gun- oops I mean, loaded auto injector. (But don’t look down the barrel of a loaded gun either- that’s not good.)
Secondly, if you are prepping your upper left arm to give yourself a shot, don’t inhale the alcohol swab. It’s not Jagermeister. It won’t taste good or be any fun.
You CAN inhale the alcohol swab if you want to go on your own weird cleanse as you won’t feel like eating or drinking anything for days. Except pretzels. You may want lots and lots of stale pretzels…
Third-don’t look back after a cute guy smiles at you. You may just wind up tripping over the threshold of the door you are supposed to be coolly walking through, not awkwardly falling through.
The fourth lesson is similar to the first. If you are deciding whether or not you like the scent of an air freshener, don’t spray it into your face to figure it out. There are easier ways to get the information.
The next two lessons take us into the kitchen. The fifth is that salad dressing is for salad, maple syrup is for waffles. Perhaps it might help to remember if you don’t keep them side by side on a shelf in your refrigerator.
Sixth, don’t spray your kitchen floor with cooking spray. Believe it or not, that’s not what it’s for.
And it doesn’t matter how much you like hockey, the sprayed kitchen floor doesn’t cut it. Nor does it mean your favorite hockey team (the Bruins) might show up just because your kitchen is now as slipperery as an ice rink.
Maybe if you have multiple sclerosis you just shouldn’t use spray things at all…
The seventh lesson is this-don’t sell drugs. Not even if you have the purest of intentions. Not even if you are offering such a discount that they wind up being free. Not even if the drugs will go to waste if you don’t pass them on and people desperately need them.
(For the ugly details on how I learned that lesson check out my prior blog post Lawbreaker.)
Since it was near Christmas time when I almost accidentally injected my eyeball, the next two lessons are related to the season. The eighth lesson is don’t try to wrap presents with double sided tape. It will not work, not even if you’re Martha Stewart. Better yet, don’t buy double sided tape, even if it’s a good deal and looks just like regular tape except for the tiny words that say it’s double sided.
The ninth lesson is don’t buy Christmas cards with glitter on them.
Yes, the glitter is pretty.
Yes the glitter is festive.
But is also a pain in your injection bruised behind.
It will get everywhere.
It will multiply like termites.
It will cover you and everything around you.
It will get in your hair.
It will get on your teeth,
It will get on those Christmas cookies you are not supposed to be eating.
It will get on your double sided tape and the two will conspire to enfold you into an endless glitter filled world.
The tenth and last lesson is the most important.
Here it is-
Seriously, very seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Here’s hoping for a healthy, happy, humor filled holiday for all of you!!