Posted by: Gavin Lehmann | July 25, 2009

Me and my Copaxone – Week one

Something a little different for you all today, I’m going to be doing a sort of diary of me and my Copaxone injecting, let you all know how I get on. But first, some information on what Copaxone actually is =)

Copaxone (or Glatiramer acetate to give it it’s generic name) is one of the five (until recently four and then Tysabri cme long with all it’s shiny newness and effectiveness. A bit like when your best mate shows up for a drink with an absolute stunner,  she gets all the attention) licensed drug therapies for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. It is self administerred through daily injections (that dont hurt, honest!) and must be kept refigerated, although can be kept at room temperature for up to seven days (although, just like when you defrost that rib of beef, it can’t be put back in the fridge again). Interesting fact (well, fact anyway) Copaxone is the only one of the four ‘older’ DMDs (disease modifying drugs) that is man made. Fact. It’s been shown to have approximately a 30% reduction in relapses (or 1/3 if you’re a drug company and you like to make things sound a bit better than they actually are) and is considered the least effective of the four main DMDs (but we really are splitting hairs there). It is also the defacto treatment for people after they finish Mitoxantrone as it’s both shown to be the most ‘complimentary’ of the four DMDs and it also has no effect on an otherwise imuno-compromised patient.

Now that we’ve had the formalities I figure I best go trough with you how my first five days on the Copaxone have gone.

Tuesday 21st – It’s the big day, whoop de fucking hoo, I egt to stab my self, yeah! (great if that’s you’re sort of thing, pain is definately not my sort of thing). The previous day my MS had begun to flare up with a spot of ‘feet in a bucket of sand’ numbness. Whether this was stress induced over me worrying about the injection, an underlying virus or just my MS iving me a polite nudge that it was still there, who knows (the feeling has begun to return to them now =)). I’d already had the kit delivered the previous Friday (video coming soon kids) and had a play about with it. The do provide you with an ‘autoinjector which seems more like a bloody shotgun to me, I’ll do the injection naked thanks (well, not naked naked, you know what I mean). I’d decided that my right thigh would bare the brunt of this first injection as I figured it would hurt the least of the four main ‘suggested’ areas (thigh, beer gut, love handle, eye). My MS nurse comes over, goes through the basics with me (because of course, I’ve not read any of the literature that came with it) I ‘scrub in’ roll back the shorts, take the needle cap off and…freeze. After about 10-20 seconds of convingcing myself I stick the needle into my leg and…NOTHING. I didn’t actually feel the thing go in to the point where I have to double check with my MS nurse that I actually got it in. Phew, panic over. Nope, no, I still need to actually put the Copaxone in. So I inject very slowly and then after about 10 seconds my leg muscle does a bit of a ‘Ghostbusters toaster’ and gets down to it’s own funky beat. There’s a little pain, similar to when your muscle cramps up, but otherwise fine. Panic over, for one day at least.

Wednesday 22nd – Todays site shall be my rather ample relxed muscle covering my torso. My MS nurse came over again just to make sure I’m not a complete spaz and I haven’t been putting my needles in anything I shouldn’t. No real problems injecting although it did sting quite a bit where I injected the Copaxone (went a lovely rouge too). I ask Liz to come back the next day so she can make sure Deb can inject me okay.

Thursday 23rd – I rather foolishly pick my love handle for this injection. I had no idea if it would actually hurt when Deb injects me (the other two hadn’t so I just assumed this one would be fine). So under Liz’s watchful eye Deb begins her run up and it bloody hurt. Deb, bless her, was more nervous than me about the whole thing so when I go “OW!” and jerk forwards it really doesn’t help her confidence (Liz though I was pissing about, such is my want). I let her have another go, still bloody hurt, not her fault though. She knows I know that she didn’t mean to hurt me, I’m letting her have another go on my leg this coming week.

Friday 24th – Back to the legs for this one, I still froze a little but slapped myself to do it right this time and had a second attempt. SUCCESS! No dancing toaster leg this time though.

Saturday 25th – Stomach this time with little hesitation. Stung a little afterwards but otherwise not too bad =)

So, five down, just a lifetime more to go. Its not too bad, there’s a slight stinging after each injection, but this is getting less each time =). Just remember kids, drugs are bad, mmm kay

Gav 😉

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