What prick to pick?

Oh you wish it was something tawdry and lascivious.  But unfortunately the pricks I’m talking about are needles. This afternoon I got a good introduction to the various ‘disease modifying drugs’ to deal with my newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis.  I feel a little like I’m in a daze right now, in some surreal alternate reality. 

I was testing different self-injecting needles today with my assigned RN.  (She’s actually pretty awesome.)  I learned how to position the needles, how to mix various injection serums, how to load the injectors and remove used needles.  Whoa, that’s a lot of negative experience.  I knew it was going to be a hard appointment, but I just generally never sat down and thought, “wow, I’m going to be self-injecting for the rest of my foreseeable future.”  I hate needles. Now that I’m thinking about the injections, I’m feeling a little ill (and strangely hungry; oh wait, that’s because of the three other prescriptions that make me perma-hungry.)

So what prick should I pick?  There’s the longer (1.25 inches) needle that is injected only once a week, but it’s into the muscle.  Once a week is good.  And you have flu-like symptoms for a day or two after each injection for a period of around six months. 

The other option is a small subcutaneous needle.  Smaller is good.  Injecting just under the skin is good.  And what, you say there are no flu-like symptoms?  Well sign me up.  Oh wait, how often do you have to inject? EVERY DAY? Whoa. And you have a good chance of having rashes or itching because of the injections?  Well, maybe I take that back. 

Luckily, I have awesome insurance that will cover the cost of the drugs, so either one (at about $20,000 a year) are within my means.  So now I just have to decide whether to have the flu off and on for the next six months and get a big needle injection into my thigh muscle each week, or whether I should go for daily injections of a little needle with no flu, but with possible injection site issues. 

What a depressing conundrum. Ummmmm… well, ahem.  I don’t know the answer.  Since this isn’t something I need to decide right away, I’m going to mull it all over a bit.  So maybe I’ll just think of something more uplifting.  Like caramel filled drumstick cones.  Or jedi kittens.

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