On Friday, it was my two year anniversary of taking my Copaxone medication. I will admit that, at first, the thought of injecting myself every day with a needle didn’t appeal to me.
I remember my first appointment with the home visit nurse. She was very comforting and there was even something that I could practice on before giving myself my first injection. I still didn’t want to inject myself but knew it would have to be done.
So that I wouldn’t forget, I made my needle part of my morning coffee routine. I would pour myself a coffee, take a sip for strength and then go and take my shot. Over time, it became less of a hindrance. It just became part of my every day life.
When I first received my Copaxone medications, I also received a box of literature and a journal so that I could keep a daily record of my injections. Multiple Sclerosis plays havoc with the memory, so the journal is a blessing.
On Friday, I reached the last day in my current journal. They have enough days in it for 365 days. This was the second journal that I had completed, meaning that I had been taking my Copaxone treatment for two years.
I wrote my Copaxone nurse and asked for a new journal, thinking nothing of it. She wrote me back with this lovely note:
Wow, you started your Copaxone treatment 2 years ago, congratulation on your milestone. Be proud of yourself, for being committed to your wellbeing and keeping the MS stable.
That note made me sit back and take notice.
Having Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy is a daily battle. On one hand, the CP causes me to be in pain every day to some regard. Since I have started taking Baclofin, the spasms have lessened, but they are still there. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be pain free and I can’t imagine what that would be like; I know no other life but this one.
The MS comes with its own symptoms: brain fog, fatigue, memory loss, speech and sight problems. The MS also causes spams, so I’m never sure anymore whether it’s the MS or CP causing them.
So, every day when I drag myself out of bed, I go through my rituals as if I am preparing for battle. It is a battle, every damn day. However, I’ve been so busy battling life that I sometimes forgot to celebrate the milestones and simple victories.
I’ve quit smoking, changed my diet completely and have taken on an exercise routine. I have embraced Reiki and meditation. I walk four times a day, every day. I’ve participated twice in the MS Walk, first walking 3 KM and then 5KM.
But I forget that even something small can be a victory too. The first time I was able to take the trash out again, the first time I walked to work again. I have to remember those small victories that have marked my path from then to now so I can appreciate the milestones.
I had another milestone yesterday.
I had my appointment with my neurologist. He was very impressed with how far I’ve come and said that I’m even stronger than I was six months ago. With no new lesions seen in my last MRI and how well I’m dong, I’m now on annual appointments. I will no longer have an MRI and follow up appointment every six months.
Instead, I will only have an MRI and follow up once a year. That is just amazing to me and is the result of everything I’ve done to get from there to here, my small victories and milestones marking each step along my path.
I need to remember that, though I may be in a battle mode all the time, I have to stop and observe those milestones and celebrate the small victories. For life can’t be only had in battle.
Life is for living and I can’t ignore what makes life so awesome, can I?