Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Story... So Far... Part 5

I ended up finishing hair school with honors (Champion!). The next step was apprenticing under a senior hair stylist in one of the best salons in Calgary. It was tough going, long hours- I came to realize that as a stylist if you weren't there and available to take a client, you weren't making money... This was a big realization for me, I mean I rationalized going into this line of work based on the flexibility of the hours.

Once I completed all the training and apprenticing it was time to build my own clientele. This is a HUGE undertaking with a lot of stress attached to it. Every person I met was a possible client, I had to be ON all the time. It was exhausting! Things were happening though and although I was having MS attacks every 3 months or so, I was keeping it together and I was making it happen.

My Mom and my Step Dad moved away, which meant that I moved out with my younger sister. We needed a third room mate so I reached out to a friend that I went to hair school with. She moved in and instantly we became inseparable. One of the positive parts of this particular friend moving in was that it was time for me to start doing daily injections as part of my "disease modifying" excersise, Copaxone is the drug of choice through the Calgary clinic. I know they will probably take offence if they ever read this, but it's true and with good reason; the head of the clinic fronted the research team who invented the drug. Anyway the reason I was excited about Sandra being there is that unlike me, she was tough as nails. So when the VRN asked me if I had someone that could participate in the learning and administer the drug for me for the first few days until I became more comfortable, I was able to respond with a resounding "yes".

The VRN arrived, they come to your home which is awesome. We had the sponges and the oranges she had requested as well as the starter kit all ready. She walked us through the whole process and we administered fake shots to the oranges and the sponges like pros! Then it came time for it to be my turn. The nurse looked at Sandra and asked if she was ready to do the real thing... My stoic friend turned white and shock her head no. She looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, I could do this to ANYONE else, but I don't think that I can do it to you."

I knew this was hard, this was hard for EVERYONE and I loved that my friend cared for me so deeply that she couldn't inflict me with this kind of a thing. I took a deep breath... There's no time like the present and my thought was "why put off to tomorrow what you can do today?" (Champion!) So the nurse talked me through the process of filling the syringe and mixing the drug and loading the needle into the autoject that they supply you with. She counted me down to the moment where I hit the trigger and had the first of many self-injected needles full of medicine.

It hurt. I had an immediate "site reaction"; that's what they call it. I call it a huge ass goose egg on my leg! I iced the site and was told "that would help." With that the nurse left and I sat with ice on my leg realizing that I was going to have to do this everyday FOREVER... That was a hard pill to swallow. My leg burned as it absorbed the rest of the foreign body. I begrudged this.

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