Sunday, August 30, 2009


RIP, beautiful cicadas found dead in a compromising position on my patio. RIP.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Updates (Long Overdue)

I was taking a stroll down memory lane, reading some old posts, when I realized that I am long overdue on a few very important updates. So here goes:

1. As best I can tell (not being a vet or anything), Darby is recovering wonderfully. The nasty rash (which it turns out was spotty full-body bruising) has disappeared, and the antibiotic/steroid cocktail she is on seems to be working. Many (many) (MANY) dollars in, I still don't know the cause of her low platelet counts--and I won't go into how ridiculous some of the shenanigans at my vet clinic have been throughout this process--but at this point I'm taking a positive approach and assuming her innards are healing up right nice. I hope so, because damn--she's a good dog.

2. My follow-up visit to DSO was officially the most boring doctor's appointment I have had in at least a year, probably longer. Yup, treatment is going well. Nope, no new symptoms. Blah, blah, blah--boredom is bliss. Rock it out, Copaxone... if you and I get along like I think we will, there may not be any more of those pricey and cumbersome MRIs in my future (at least not for the next year).

3. I completed and submitted paperwork for the Shared Solutions discount program. Once approved, Shared Solutions will cover 85% (give or take some percentages--math is not my strong suit) of my co-pay, leaving me to pay only a pittance for my daily treatment. I wanted to be sure to include this mention in my blog in case someone who is just starting treatment on Copaxone stumbles across this. So someone, if you're reading this, take note: Ask Shared Solutions about their Discount Program. It certainly helps!

4. I'm making nearly as much progress on T09CP as I am in the frequency of my blog postings. Translation: It looks pretty much like it did in the pictures I took when I started (okay, maybe a teensy bit better, but not much). Bees (SO many bees), rain (long overdue), summer social calendars, and a tiny touch of laziness have significantly slowed my progress. And do you realize it's nearly September? That means it could snow here. Literally. Almost any day now. *sigh* Making a mental note to at least get a coat of primer on before hunkering down for the long cold winter...

I'm aware of the fact that there are many other updates I owe this blog, but I think I'll wrap this up for today in an effort to avoid boring my devoted readers to tears. If only for today...

Monday, August 17, 2009

It was Bound to Happen Sooner or Later

Today’s injection was scheduled to be administered on the right arm. I dove into the routine like any other day… clean the area with an alcohol wipe, disassemble the AutoJect device, load the medicine and re-assemble. I located the injection site, lined up the AutoJect, and snapped the trigger. Pop! And… nothing. I couldn’t believe it. For the first time since starting the injections, I had found a magical spot where the needle didn’t hurt—at all! I reveled in the lack of pain for the full 10 seconds of the injection. I took a mental note to remember the exact location this injection went in so I could use it again and again and again.

I gently pulled the AutoJect away from my skin, expecting a tiny poke of pain as the needle left my arm.

Instead, a small gush of Glatiramer Acetate (aka Copaxone) poured out of the end of the injection device and onto the floor. What? I looked back at the tip of the AutoJect and realized I had made a rookie mistake. I forgot to remove the cap removal thingy, so I shot nearly $100 of Copaxone into the needle cap and onto a pool on the floor.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nothin' Karmic About This One...

Murphy's law keeps slamming Casa Skjold with citations... this time in the form of a (theoretically, at least) very sick dog. I found a ginormous rash on Darby's belly this morning, and after several hours of testing at the vet, it turns out it's more than the simple itchweed or bug bites I thought it was. Evidently her blood is not producing platelets on its own, and according to the test results (which were run three times just to be safe), her platelet count is so low that she should not have clotted when they took the blood, and she should bruise from the lightest touch.

My little medical mystery.

The blood samples have been shipped to a pathology lab in Texas for a more thorough review. In the meantime, she's on steroids and antibiotics, and under my watchful eye. Any cut or scrape could be a very bad thing at this point, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Won't you do the same?

It's okay if you want to judge me after I write what I'm about to write, but when the vet called me with the results, the first thing that popped into my head was this:

"Oh crap, not the good one..."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

Tomorrow I have my three-month follow-up appointment with DSO. It's hard for me to believe that more than three months have passed since my first diagnosis, and the symptoms and tests and ensuing confusion leading up to the diagnosis are actually becoming something of a blur.

As I mentioned before, I have officially finished a full cycle of Copaxone, and things are going as well as can be expected. I expect DSO and I will discuss the side effects I have been experiencing, and I suspect I will find out that all is progressing nicely with some minor inconveniences.

As the days continue, and if I remain symptom free (as I fully expect I will), I am at a loss for what to post to this blog. Any reader suggestions would be welcomed. :)

In the meantime, I mentioned that I have had some travels in the past few weeks, so I will leave you with a few of my favorite photographs from the second of the two excursions--a few shots from my best friend's beautiful, amazing, and unforgettable wedding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a side note, she is an amazing person who has an amazing family who pooled together unique sets of talents to pull off a virtually perfect day.

First, some of the many floral arrangements the bride, her mother, and a friend of her mother's created:

And then a shot of the family and wedding party toasting the bride and groom with home brew made by the bride's cousin (yes, he provided ALL of the beer and root beer for the event):

And a sampling of the creative and graphic design genius imparted by the bride and her groom:

And finally a shot of the many delicious cakes prepared by my best friend's aunt, who (along with her husband) was also owner and designer of the wonderful home at which the event occurred. Ah, what a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Habitual User

Oh my stars, I must apologize for my lengthy absence from the blogging world. Much summer fun has been had, about which I promise future posts. For now, however, I will update you about the landmark that was marked today--I officially took the last of my first round of Copaxone, and tomorrow I start on the second shipment.

I believe that makes me a habitual user.

It has to be said that if I'm gonna be on treatment, I'm diggin' the Copaxone. No side effects, with the exception of the daily injection site reactions (like giant mosquito bites--a pain in the arse, but so much better than disease progression or flu-like side-effects!).