Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This all just became so real.

Despite knowing I had MS since March 5 and expecting I had MS since February 26, I guess I still hadn't accepted the diagnosis. I say this because I just signed for the first set of injections. They were delivered to my office by UPS, as expected, and when he had me the box it felt like someone had just punched me in the gut. I stood there looking at the box in total shock. I really do have MS and I really do have to give myself weekly injections.

The box itself isn't very big, 8 or 9 inches high and wide, and less than a foot long. It's sealed with "Tamper Evident Tape" and has "Perishable Open Upon Receipt" printed in big red letters on the side. The box is cold to the touch. I opened it and inside is a white foam cooler that takes up the entire box. I pulled the lid off the cooler and inside, sitting on top of two ice packs, is four pre-filled syringes of Avonex. They are in light-shielding packaging, but the contents are clear.

I picked it up to transfer them to the office fridge and immediately, the tears started. I couldn't help it. The whole scenario was so foreign yet I could feel my mind and body registering that behavior. Creating a habit. I slid the package onto the top shelf of the refrigerator and looked at it like a kid watching a popcorn bag inflate in the microwave. I closed the door and returned to the my desk and shame washed over me. Although I've been very open and honest about everything going on, I sudden didn't want anyone to see the injections or know that I needed them. I grabbed a paper bag, tape, and a Sharpie from my desk and proceeded to conceal the medicine. I labeled it "DO NOT TOUCH" and sealed it with packing tape.

And now I'm here, sitting at my desk trying not to think about the secret in the fridge and trying not to cry. But I don't know why. I've been so happy and so ready to tackle this head on and now I'm afraid and ashamed. I'm not a stranger to tough diagnoses or long-term treatment, but there's something about giving myself injections or even needing to do it, that has triggered me. Hopefully, this will go away before I meet with the nurse to learn how to administer the medicine (should happen next week). The nurse doesn't need to see me breakdown.

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