My Beautiful MS- Loving Your Disability

Depending on how you happened to stumble on to this page, you either A- have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or know someone who has, or B- you misspelled something on your google search and somehow ended up here, either way, WELCOME!

The primary goal of this blog is to hopefully be able to answer all your questions about MS and about living with it and most importantly, will teach you to accept the condition with open arms and will allow you to look beyond your so called “disability”. I encourage you to explore the tabs to learn more about me and my story, as well as use the provided links to find more information about Multiple Sclerosis.

Feel free to email me with any questions, suggestions, or to share your story! I would love to be able to read your individual stories and get to know each and every one of you 🙂

Please keep in mind I am NOT a medical professional and am not licensed to give medical advice. However, I would be happy to answer any questions on my personal experience with MS and will do my best to answer any questions for you!

– Love,

Fernanda

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My Experience with AVONEX

Hello all! Sorry, I have been MIA for a little while, but I’m back and I would like to share my experience using AVONEX! As many of you know, after being on Aubagio for only a few months, I was switched over to AVONEX (interferon-beta-1a injections) due to the harsh side effects of Aubagio. I was on AVONEX for 11 months and my experience wasn’t all that bad!

For those of you that do not know what AVONEX is: AVONEX is a weekly injection of a fancy medication called interferon-beta-1a. The injections are done by yourself and are usually done on your outer thigh. Side effects are flu-like symptoms after injecting and like many other MS medications, it makes you more susceptible to infections and other conditions.

When I first started AVONEX, the side effects were very mild and I felt perfectly normal. I chose to inject every Thursday as it would fit my schedule best, and there were no changes in my mood, diet, or daily routine whatsoever. However, after a few injections, the side effects began to become more severe as they went from a slight achy feeling to a full fever, headache, body aches, runny nose, etc. These side effects would knock me down for a full day where I had to stay in bed taking ibuprofen and using ice packs to control the fevers. For that reason, I switched my injection day to Saturday nights so I could spend all of Sunday in bed rather than Friday.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the side effects that made me stop AVONEX, it was the infections. When the doctor warns you that the medication will make you more susceptible to infections, you think of the flu or strep throat or something along those lines. Instead, I got repeated tonsillitis, HPV on my foot, UTI’s, and even a sexy case of staph on my butt and legs. The infections were nonstop, uncomfortable, and embarrassing! Nothing says “beach body” like a boil on your bum, am I right?

However, after stopping AVONEX, the infection did not stop. I got another staph infection a month after my last injection on the back of my knee and a UTI. The best advice I can give you if you’re planning on starting AVONEX is this: be prepared! If I could go back and do it again, I would have started my injections on Saturday nights and plan to be out the next day.  I also recommend making ibuprofen PM your best friend so that you sleep through the body aches and fevers. I would be sure to change my cleaning routine so that EVERYTHING is disinfected to prevent infections. But more importantly, be prepared to handle the infections with the right antibiotics and medications, as well as a clever story as to why you have a boil or a wart that will not go away….

Keep Calm and Stay Positive

Life can be a real b…bully sometimes 😉 But it is important to look at the bright side! As much of a cliche that may be, it’s true. I learned in a psychology class that your mind is so powerful, it is actually capable of planning out your day for you. For example, if your day sucked yesterday, and you woke up this morning saying “God, today is going to be just as bad”, your mind actually does this not-so-cool thing where it programs you to see only the bad things throughout your day. So let’s do the math, (bad attitude)+ (only seeing bad things throughout the day) = Bad day.

For us regular hospital patients, I understand you hit a point where you are fed up and annoyed. Your entire body aches, your hand is throbbing from all the IVs, you asked the nurse 3 times to bring you socks and she keeps forgetting, there’s some baby crying down the hall, and an old lady yelling “NUUURSE!!!” every few seconds in the room next to you. But you have to stay positive. What good does it do if you get upset? That will not get the old lady to stop yelling or will magically warm your feet, it will only make your experience worse.

With that being said, here is a sexy picture of me rocking the hospital gown after 4 hours of waiting and a burst vein from my IV 🙂

Love,

Fernanda

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Staying in my Happy Place after a long wait at the hospital