Scared and need advice

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Rebif
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Scared and need advice

Post by Solipsist » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:00 am

Hello. I'm a 27 year old single mother and student who works. I also have a phobia of needles. I was diagnosed in January 2013...and made my mother hold my hand when they gave me the IV at the hospital. I won't bore you with the whole story here, but basically my doctor did not explain Rebif very well to me. If I had known I would need to do injections 3 times a week, I would have known then and there that it was too much for me to handle. My boyfriend helped me with injections until he suddenly broke up with me last month, and now I make my brother do it, but I no longer have the comfort during the process that was provided by the boyfriend. I cannot bring myself to do the injection, even with the auto-injector. For a medication I have to take for the rest of my life, I just can't see myself being able to keep up on it like I need to and I can't rely on someone else to help with my medicine. I hoped the injections would get easier and I would get used to them, but it's gotten scarier for me not easier. I know my fear of needles is irrational, and I know that it only hurts a little for a few seconds, but I really am having trouble overcoming this. I want to ask my doctor about switching medications, but there seems to be so many and I am scared to go from a "good" medication to one that isn't as good. I hear a lot of good things about Rebif and I haven't had any bad side effects; I am just sooooo afraid of needles. I read someone else mentioned realizing it was the day to do their shot and it would ruin their day - I feel kind of the same, though I try to forget about it as much as possible until 10pm when I do it.

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Re: Scared and need advice

Post by jimmylegs » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:18 am

hi :) i am needle phobic too, and i was lined up for rebif too. my decision not to take the drug route was at least in part the needle issue. at the same time though, i have had TONS of nutritional bloodwork done instead. i pretty much have a track mark in one spot on my right arm. the thing is i only have to deal with them intermittently. it must have been over a year ago i had my last tests done. even so, i'm sort of desensitized to having bloodwork done now too. when i was 4 or 5 i had cut open my knee pretty bad and the process of cleanup and stitches led to big trouble with the freezing at the dentist when i was 7 and broke a tooth. had to go for hypnotherapy before i could get it fixed :S the dentist ended up gassing me anyway! so nowadays i just do some deep breathing. also if anxiety is a bit of a status quo thing for you, perhaps you could try magnesium. ms patients tend to be low in serum mag, and the only problem with it is that many/most available supplements are poorly absorbed. if you can find somewhere selling KAL brand magnesium *glycinate*, that's a useful one. other kinds eg mag oxide can be a waste of money. if you were to get some mag glycinate, you could take a couple of those each day, it could help reduce the level of anxiety associated with the injections. doesn't cost much and you'd probably get a few bonus health improvements along with the calming effect.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Scared and need advice

Post by lyndacarol » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:43 pm

Welcome to ThisIsMS, Solipsist.

For many different reasons, some of us have chosen not to do any MS medications (injectables or oral) at all. In my case, I tried three different injectables (Betaseron, Avonex, Copaxone) for about 10 years and saw no improvements. Scientists do not know the cause of MS, and until they do, I see no way they can find a truly effective treatment. Today's FDA-approved drugs for MS are no more effective than placebo.

Since I believe that excess insulin is deeply involved in MS symptoms, I think diet holds the greatest promise of controlling this disease. One dramatic example is found in the story of Dr. Terry Wahls and her regimen of diet and exercise:

I encourage you to read the Diet forum here at ThisIsMS. Do your reading, ask your questions – you know yourself best and will make the decision that is right for you. All the best to you.
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"

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Re: Scared and need advice

Post by carolsue » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:51 pm

My opinion is that having MS produces enough anxiety on its own--you surely don't need the added type of anxiety that needles cause you! I don't think you should feel embarrassed about your phobia. It just is. Tell your doctor the needles are an unworkable option for you and you want to discuss other therapies, including diet and nutrition. All the drug therapies have their pros and cons to consider. You'll figure it out. Best of luck.

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