Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yikes Jeepers, That's no Fun!

Soooooo… have you ever seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (or House or ER or Mercy any other medical drama for that matter) where someone gets whisked into the emergency room with heart problems, the doctors crack the chest, and then ultimately massage the heart with their hands?

I have a feeling that Copaxone transformed into an overeager intern upon entering my bloodstream yesterday. I popped the shot into my arm just like any other Monday, leaned on the counter while applying pressure (a little more bleeding than usual), and BAM! The Copaxone hitched a ride in some major vein right to my heart and grabbed on for dear life, gripping, twisting, and wringing all the while. My chest tightened, my body lurched with nausea, pain exploded in white hot spurts through nerves up and down my back, I became cold and clammy, and an overwhelming sense of anxiety took hold. I made my way from the kitchen toward the bedroom, giving pause at the bathroom door to determine whether not a good vomit session was in order. The bedroom won out, and I curled up with my eyes closed for a few minutes, trying to think about squishy little puppy dogs, warm sunshine, fuzzy sweaters and other soft and happy things.

And then, as quickly as it came on, the ambitious little drug released its grip and my body flowed right back to a normal state.

Methinks I experienced my first side effect.*

*From copaxone.com: Some patients report a short-term reaction right after injecting COPAXONE®. This reaction can involve flushing (feeling of warmth and/or redness), chest tightness or pain with heart palpitations, anxiety, and trouble breathing. These symptoms generally appear within minutes of an injection, last about 15 minutes, and go away by themselves without further problems.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Back

In a few hours I'll be 35. Old enough to legally run for president. Old enough for one of my soccer teammates to say, in awe, "I just hope I am still playing soccer when I get to be 35." Old enough to escape the "we card anyone who appears to be younger than 35" clause (yay--no need to carry that cumbersome identification around anymore!). Yes. That is how old I will be.

But before the calendar page flips that unflappable flip, I thought I'd take a quick moment to reflect on the last 12 months. In retrospect, there were a few days that I'm glad are behind me. Really glad. Really, really glad.

But there were also a lot of days I wouldn't give back for anything--and they certainly outweigh the bad ones.

A couple of years ago, I turned 33. I couldn't wait for that year to begin, because I had this feeling--confidence, really--that things were just getting started, and that I was heading in a really good direction. And despite a ridiculous amount of medical testing (and the rather giant costs associated with it), despite a diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, and despite a pretty lame break-up days before my birthday, I think things have continued in that direction throughout 34. Because the one thing that came out of all of this rollercoaster year was this: I have a whole new perspective that I never would have gained if my year were status quo.

So, 35, what do you have in store?

I can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I did it. So there's that...

The talk of the town in Minneapolis this past weekend has been sports. Sports sports sports sports sports. Huge football rivalry on Saturday--U of M vs. Madison. Huge Twins game on Saturday, which resulted in a victory and a tie-breaking follow-up game on Tuesday (go Twins!). Vikings (with Favre) vs. the Packers (HUGE rivals, with or without Favre on the roster) on Monday. And nearest and dearest to my heart--the Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile Race on Sunday.

A few months ago I decided with a few friends to sign up for the 10-mile race on a whim (it's a tough race to get into, based on a lottery drawing). Much to our surprise, we got in! Over the course of time leading up to the race, I didn't train as well as I would have liked to--the circumstances of my strategy and approach on race day were different than I had been preparing for. But despite any shortcomings in my training, the race was great. The weather was as good as we could have asked for, and my friends and I were all pleased with our results. And on the plus side, it was a great opportunity to get a snapshot to send my adorable niece for her first birthday--which was also on race day.

As if the race weren't enough excitement for one day, I had a 90-minute soccer game that evening. I'm proud to report that I played, and we won. At least I think we won. Or else we tied... at any rate, we didn't lose.

The rest of the events of last Sunday were anything but fun, and honestly they're not topics I'm comfortable with addressing in this blog. The combination of activity and events of Sunday were wholly exhausting--physically and emotionally--and it is not a day I would care to repeat any time soon.

But I finished the race with a respectable time, I made it through the lousy events, and I stuck it out to finish the day at the soccer game--so all in all I'm keeping it on my list of days I can be proud of. Ain't nobody takin' that away from me.