Monday, March 29, 2010

My MS treatment.

When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in June of 2000 I was introduced to the MS Clinic of the (formerly known as) Prince George Regional Hospital and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Prince George Chapter.

I have never really felt OK around any medical professionals so my contact with the clinic was limited. At first, I also avoided the MS Society as I was not comfortable with them or the disease I now had. The clinic advised me that Interferon's were needed at the early stage of the disease to prevent slipping into Secondary Progressive MS. She explained the "ABCR's" of MS Medication (Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone and Rebif) which will be explained in a later blog. All are administered sub-dermal via injection (Daily, weekly or 3 times a week). She wanted me on Avonex.

The Nurse gave me an exam to measure my depression level. This was in the late winter or early spring of 2001. That is a standard operating procedure with those MS treatments, patients are often given anti depression medication for a few months prior to being prescribed that form of treatment to counterattack the "rare" side effect of depression that can occur with Interferon. My mental levels were very low and she suggested the Adult Mental health center attached to PGRH as well as the Antidepressant medication would be required before I could consider that treatment.

I began with Avonex in July of 2001. Even with the Anti Depression medication and the therapy of the Adult Mental Health clinic I was a mental wreck by the time my birthday came around in October. I became "needle phobic" and I refused to "stick myself" anymore. The MS Nurse at the time suggested that I try Copaxone instead of Avonex. I saw the needle, panicked and refused that treatment as well. It has an auto inject option but that did no good once I saw the needle. This kind of ended the pharmaceutical treatment for my MS and broke my limited connection to the MS Clinic for a few years.

I began self medicating with Marijuana in 2002 which helped with a lot of everything that MS was tossing my way, including the depression. I had used Marijuana extensively in my youth but had left it well over 15 years behind my present life. It helped ease the depression and the stiffness. Vertigo was practically eliminated and I could sleep. It was illegal and for some reason I wanted to feel like an outlaw, in my mailbox I found that the MS Clinic of the day did not support this move. It made the disease tolerable for me. I will post anther on "Medical Marihuana" which I began with the doctors & clinic's blessing in 2010.

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