Archive for the ‘injections’ Category

Reflections on injections

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

For the second year in a row I went into my yearly neurologist appt with the thought of switching to the oral meds on my mind. I was really gung ho last year, this year I had read quite a bit about heart issues with gilenya and I was pretty sure I would stick with the rebif. After talking to the doc I decided I would indeed stick to it another year at least. But I really don’t like the shots.

One of my biggest issues with the injections is occasionally I will experience significant pain. Other times nothing at all. When I first started I was told to ice my injection location beforehand. This didn’t work for me at all. I talked to a nurse at the pharmacy and she suggested a warm compress. This worked a lot better, but still I would occasionally experience discomfort. Sometimes a stinging feeling as the meds injected, other times it would feel like the stings would travel through my groin and down into my legs. Weird! Nobody had an answer for me.

So yesterday I had my yearly physical with my GP and he suggested I get a tetnus shot since it had been ages since I had gotten one. I thought what the heck, just another shot. The nurse came in and swabbed the area and before she injected me she made a big production about fanning the area. I asked her about it and she said sometimes the alcohol will travel into the body with the needle and will sting like lava. I thought, wait a minute, that sounds familiar. Could that be the cause of my injection pain? So today I tried that, day one of pain-free injection alcohol drying experiment was a success! We’ll see what happens down the road…

Four years worth of rebif

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Almost a $100,000 thousand worth I have pumped into my body in defense against my ms. I have to say it seems to have stopped any reoccurrence of major symptoms. But maybe they wouldn’t have happened again anyway. Or maybe diet and exercise was the difference? I wish I had security in my medication, but I really don’t. I have more hope being a vegetarian runner. And pushing myself hard. Taking advantage of opportunities, or at least enjoying them. That’s the better medicine.

The choice to switch to the oral meds – fingolimod – has been an interesting one. I’d love to ditch the shots and the excess shipping (almost 50 giant styrofoam coolers) but I think (and so does the nuero) that if treatment is showing success why change? I suppose someday I’ll be on it so why not get started now? I am pretty sure it would be effective for me, but would the change of medication, the actual transition have any worsening effect? Would the pills only come in non-vegetarian gelatin based capsules? Would some aspect of the pills require some gigantic shipping method that dwarfs the rebif styrofoam?

I have had some skin reactions recently, more than just the bruising. Itchy area, general soreness in the shot places and what looked like a small needle infection on my back right side. I moved the spots I normally inject in the area and skipped a cycle. Seemed to clear up. Today I did it in the back of my left arm, a painful one but quick. The backs of my arms seem to be the most painful of all the recommended spots. I have thought about skipping the arms but I want to make sure the other areas don’t get over used.

I didn’t run again today. I’m having some issues with consistency lately. I’ll get better I know it. I am really tired of running in the cold I am ready for some warmer weather.

Ugh, its been a couple weeks

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

My running has really changed since I started running the dog. She can do around 3-4 miles max, and I have been bad about not adding on any additional miles. Heck she’s done, I might as well be too. Today was the first time in a weeks I actually added anything onto my runs. I ended up doing just under 9 miles. Being the first long run in awhile I am really feeling it this evening. The last three miles or so where grueling. Just 3-4 weeks ago I was doing 6-8 mile runs 3-4 times a week.

I have to say the short runs with Fig are pretty enjoyable. She does a good job of keeping up as well as not pulling. She likes her crows. These runs have really changed my patterns as I have been more erratic. I have had a harder time focusing on my own running things. Still maybe I will be forced to work on my form in my add-on runs. Fig likes to run only where I run. She leads well yet is also good at keeping on my heels.

Perhaps I should try to do at least one add-on run a week with the option to not run Fig and go longer on my own as well as the track.

On the ms side I ended up with the needle uncapped and out of my auto injector. So for the first time I jabbed myself and plunged. It was pretty easy actually, but I have been paranoid about it having to inject myself for sometime. I had thought about just trying it a couple of times, but I never did. Overall I would say over-rated, it was easy and painlessish.

Killer hills

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I didn’t run yesterday as I used the excuse of not having any gels to power through a hill repeat run. Well the gel came that afternoon, so no excuses remained. Actually I was fine with that as I knew I had to do some hills to keep on track with my fluctuating quality run plan.

So a note on the gel: I purchased a 26 serving bottle of Chocolate Hammer gel for $20 on Amazon. I use 3 oz gel flasks and dilute 1 to 1 with water. It takes some shaking to get it mixed up, but it is a lot cleaner and less wasteful than the individual servings not to mention cheaper. I really like doing my gels this way. The bottles I have a weird and are rounded so they don’t stand up but feel good in my pockets. I like the diluted gel as well. The chocolate was a little sweet, I have had espresso as well and I thought that was less so.

So in addition to my diluted gel I also brought a pack of Honey Stinger fruit energy chews. They are a bit like Sharkies only more jelly like, sort of remind me of the old jelly candies my Grandma had. They are ok, I don’t think I care for the Honey Stinger product lines so much. They are a bit too strongly honey tasting for me. I had some gels from them as well that I got as samples at the Portland Marathon and they were the same way, like eating a tablespoon of honey. Good but too honeyey. I had maybe 3 or 4 of them on the run to the hills and then the gel halfway through. I felt pretty good energy wise, good combination of gel energy and electrolytes.

So the hills were tough. My hill route I went on today has 10 or 11 hills about a quarter mile long of varying steepness. I zig-zag up and down along this three block long ridge. So down for three blocks, over one, up for three blocks and over one and so on. Halfway through I turn around and go up the ones I went down the first time through. The workout tapers a bit to the mid-way point with the hills getting easier, but the way back is murderous and by the time I near the end of the hill portion, the final two hills are brutal. Here is the run. I felt pretty strong throughout the run and my HR dipped pretty low on the recovery portions (130-140). My max HR was 185 for the run, but more often in the high 170s. It was a good workout and one I feel pretty rested from now that the afternoon has waned.

I missed my rebif injection yesterday, so I did it today after the run. I have been doing the shots after workouts for awhile now and so far I have bot seen any sort of issue with it. I am not sure if the exercise makes it any more or less effective, but there don’t seem to be any problems. Even today when I did my shot into my leg all pumped up after the hill repeats, no issues. I do notice that when I inject in the morning I sometimes have to take ibuprofen in the evening to cull a headache, but it doesn’t happen often. I do worry about taking so much ibuprofen and acetaminophen and its effects on my liver. But I guess I’ll deal with that when I have something concrete to deal with.

Sick as a dog

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Yuck, I feel like garbage and have for a few days now. I ran On Sunday and Monday and my breathing was really heavy both days, by Monday night I was down for the count. I think it might be a flu since I have flu-like symptoms. Oh wait, that’s right, rebif gives me flu-like symptoms, great… Coughing all night (I need to get some cough suppressant or something), constant runny nose, fever (oh wait, the rebif again), sweats (uh, thanks rebif) and sneezing (a little). I know I am supposed to keep taking the rebif even when I am sick, but it is really tempting to skip it until I am better. I am sure that screws up the way it works, so I’ll keep at it.

On a positive note, I have been trying a different strategy for reducing the pain of my injections. I had been icing the area beforehand. Sometimes this would work fine, sometimes not. I got a call from msLifelines and talked to them about my issue and she recommended using a warm compress instead. I had heard this, but the ice was just easier, so I kept at it. Well, so far I am a convert. The warmth works much better. I heat up a washcloth with hot water and apply it to the area. I do this twice before my alcohol swab, hand washing and injection. Apparently it is the rebif that actually causes the pain, not the shot. The warmth allows it to be dispersed better. Well I’ll be. Lastly I massage the area to aide in dispersion.

I am not sure when I will run again, right now it feels like January. But I am sure I will get through this and feel better soon. Because it is so lung focused I am a bit concerned about running again. I think I’ll start out with some short runs to get back into it (haven’t we heard that before!)