My diagnosis taught me one thing: the notion that no matter what happens, life goes on. Since then, life became more imaginative, engaging and determined.
IMSM grew from the desire to convey optimism through writing in 2011. By sharing thoughts, hopes and fears, it turned into a “Hhmm… I can’t remember writing that!” mix of personal stories and info about MS.
Through sheer luck of the Irish, I received an invitation to write for Novartis’s MS blog ‘Living Like You’ in 2014. Soon after, the Irish MS Society added my name to their list of writers to provide content for their own blog ‘MS & Me’ (not to be confused with the title of my own blog).
Winning awards was something we didn’t set out to do. But we did, eventually.
Interferon beta-1b Extavia (Novartis) Betaferon (Bayer)
The first drug that was approved for treatment of MS, interferon beta-1b inflammation in the central nervous system.
The most common side effects include injection site reactions and GI symptoms, such as stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea
Interferon beta-1a Avonex (Biogen) Rebif (Serono) An injectable medication, interferon beta-1a reduces inflammation, possibly through the reduction of T cell production and also reduction of inflammatory cells in the CNS. Like interferon beta- 1b, it is believed to prevent the crossing of inflammatory cells through the blood-brain barrier
The most common side effects include injection site reactions and fevers
Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone by Teva) This immunomodulator is used to prevent relapses.
The most common side effects include injection site reactions, fevers, double vision, weakness, and swelling of the hands or feet
Dimethyl Fumarate (Tecfidera by Biogen) This works as an anti-inflammatory by blocking cytokine induction.
The most common side effects include flushing, rash, and GI symptoms
Peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy by Biogen) Similar to interferon is believed to have an extended duration.
The most common side effects include injection site reactions, fevers. and joint pain
Daclizumab (Zinbryta by Biogen)
This medication is believed to reduce T cells. The suggested mechanism is through binding to the IL- 2 T cell receptors
The most common side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and skin rash
Teriflunomide (Aubagio by Sanofi Genzyme)
This immunomodulatory drug is believed to work by inhibiting the proliferation of T cells and B cells.
It may cause abnormal liver tests, flu-like symptoms, and thinning hair
You know you’re on to something when you recognise your medical file from afar, even when it’s tucked between 15 other colourful medical records.
Sadly, this is a fact that even World MS Day on Wednesday, May 30th can’t heal. Nevertheless, as a global community of approximately 2.3 million people with MS, being part of the solution – a.k.a. spreading awareness and pushing for a cure – can be infinitely rewarding. On WMSD, I feel an even greater purpose to be part of that solution, whether it is by attending disability-related meetings and spreading the word afterwards, or simply by becoming more conscious of the problems people with MS and other disabilities are facing in the world today.
Have you ever wondered, “What exactly is my purpose on our little shining blue ball floating around in our vast universe?”
Congratulations, so have I!
It took me the better part of my teenage years – if not very young adult life – to get to the stage where I thought, “Yes! Eureka! Yes, I found out what I am doing here!”
Translated, it sounded more like this, “I know where I am going to live!”
Part of the master plan that had been hiding in my unconscious mind had already been set in motion, albeit drifting rebelliously between my conscious and the harder to access unconscious level, before mischievously appearing again.
“Oh, you can bet I am willing, I am usually more than willing. When physical restraints curb your potential, you realise that you want so more from your own life, and out of your own reality. Life is moving forward outside your medically induced world, and you feel annoyed when healthy people don’t realise the worth of their bodies, their unused potential.
It simply reminds you that being chronically ill sucks.
It’s energy being depleted in all the wrong places. There is no uptake to being ill. There is no room for maneuvering when you’re faced with an illness that will -quite literally- be there until you draw your last breath. Do take it from someone who’s already stared death in the face because of it; it is so not all it’s cracked up to be, honey.“
If you want to know more about this blog and its content or advocacy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t received a reply within 24 hours, rest assured that your message will be read. Replies might be slowed down by either MS, life or a wonky delivery system, but when I have my Wonder Woman Lycra on, I can tackle all three at the same time.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this site is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.