It’s only a 30 gauge needle!

I took the post from my IAM page and I’ve made some changes to it so it would be relevant to post here so that more people could see it. As an update, I’m experiencing fairly heavy side effects from them but I’m hoping that the good outweighs the bad. Most people assume that since we’re heavily modified that it’s easy to give ourselves shots. The other thing that I am interested in finding out is if my injection site reactions will differ in the 6 areas that I have to inject myself that are tattooed. Does anyone else have experience with interferon injections and tattoos? I know that my healing abilities are nonexistant so I have slowed my tattooing down to once every 3-4 months because it usually takes about that long for new tattoo work to properly heal as well as I don’t want trigger my body into having a relapse. Please let me know your experiences with injection therapies (MS related or not). I’d appreciate hearing from you!

“I made this video just few weeks ago to help explain the process of giving myself an interferon injection. I did the prep and injection part in under approximately 3 minutes, while talking through it. This is only the third injection I had taken and the FIRST ONE that I’ve done myself.

I have been diagnosed with MS since the summer of 2007. I first noticed paralysis in my right side during an endurance race when I used to drive race cars pro-am. It spiraled from there into what doctors think was my second major relapse. The first was when I lived in Mexico about 2 years prior and went misdiagnosed as a brain infection.

I have then suffered about 5-6 relapses a year lasting around 3-6 weeks each time. They ranged from partial paralysis to blurry vision to electric shock feelings when I moved my head, as well as a constant pins and needles sensation in my skin. The symptoms in each relapse don’t tend to go away with my type of MS. They just keep hopping on the pile though sometimes they lighten up.

I have been in a state of denial until recently when I lost my vision for 2 months. I had gone from a fully independent woman to needing someone to help me do household chores, drive places, pick my daughter up from the bus stop and all sorts of things one would think a 29 year old should be able to do.

As I say in the video, my doctor said by this time next year I will be severely handicapped at the rate I’m going. After some time waiting I was finally sent my prescriptions and again it sat around in the house for a couple weeks before I mustered up the courage to ask my husband to do the injections. We watched the DVD that came with my kit. We both heckled and mocked the people in the videos because they don’t seem real. They didn’t have a sense of fear or worry or dread, which is why they just didn’t seem real to me. They’re probably very experienced with the treatment, but I’m not.

I decided to make this clip, hoping that maybe someone who was recently diagnosed would see it and it would help them to start their treatment immediately instead of being like me and allowing more and more lesions to form across their brain and spinal cord.

I don’t want to go blind. I don’t want to be in a wheel chair. I don’t want to lose my independence. I don’t want that for you either and I hope that this helps in some way.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.”

22 thoughts on “It’s only a 30 gauge needle!

  1. This is an incredible video. I definitely think that there will be tons of people who see this and will be helped by it. Good luck with the treatment.

  2. thanks, rachel, for being brave and thoughtful about this. hope this reaches all the right people needing encouragement.
    i also took the liberty of tweeting your video.

  3. Thank you for doing this. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed in August, and she’s found the experience to be devastating. The insurance red tape she had to cut through just to see a neurologist who specializes in treating MS was absolutely mind-boggling and kept her from getting treatment for about two months, when time was of the absolute essence.

    Best wishes.

  4. i wish you the best of luck, and hope that you are not too late in preventing full handicap. remember, stand strong! for yourself, and your family.


  5. That was such a great video. I think you’re awfully brave doing this and very thoughtful putting this video out there for everyone to see.

    I hope things work out well for you.

  6. I don’t know if this is on the market yet, but in 2000 I took part in a medical trial in the UK where we tested a new way of administering Interferon. The drug came in a blister pack and we inhaled it with a special inhaler. Injecting yourself cant be easy I just wonder if the inhaler is available yet?
    You are so brave, I have so much respect for people with MS as I know what it feels like to take interferon ever week. Good luck with your treatment.

  7. “I know that my healing abilities are nonexistant so I have slowed my tattooing down to once every 3-4 months because it usually takes about that long for new tattoo work to properly heal as well as I don’t want trigger my body into having a relapse.”

    Sorry to focus in on a small part of your existence, Rachel (but you have presented it for us to consume and educate ourselves with)…

    Ok, you seem nice, your story sounds tough and sad, and I hope for nothing but the best for you….

    That said –
    Stop getting tattoos. They (obviously) shouldnt take that long to heal, and if they do, it’s (obviously) taxing the resources and systems that are damaged by MS, and it’s likely that you need that healing strength and energy for other parts of your body.

  8. my friends father has MS and he swears that smoking weed settles him, makes him feel better and stops him from shaking…

  9. also, my mom has to use one of those auto-injectors on herself like once a month i think and she says at first it sucked but she says the pain is’nt too bad now that shes been doing it a while.

  10. Rachel,

    When I was inolved with a voluntary health organization, I had many clents with MS. As a group, they never ceased to amaze me. They fought their disease and kept a positive attitude. I appreciate you posting the video as it can help many folks learn about this disease which strikes mostly young adults.

    Good luck,

  11. Now are you aware that things are beginning to break the IAM. As you might guess, Phantasm with my helps installed a series of dead man switch. He bragged he would use them to blackmail you. He is dead now and I have no care, so it will break the site instead. The first is short break. Small system deaths. Should start send email passwords of people together at random. In end it format drives with application server and image server. Goodbye BME. You can not stop is.

  12. My mom has MS, so I know what your talking about. it’s life changing. But I hope the best for you, and hope you stay strong.

  13. I hope that having to do self injection routinely turns it into something less unpleasant as it goes on. Best of luck.

    I’m sure you’ve already thought about it, but please reconsider the cons of getting further tattoo work done at this time. Tattooing elicits a strong immune reaction. Just a thought.

  14. sorry to hear you have MS

    it’s very good that you have spoken about it here; I’m sure this will be great encouragement for many patients to make self injections

    I was amazed to see how “complicated” the process is to prepare the injection solution – do you think there are “ready to use” syringes, too?

    as for the injection: for very slim persons like you it might be advisable to push the needle into the skin at an angle. This is also more practical since you can let the skin loose once the needle is in. Then you have the second hand free to help manipulate the syringe (e.g. hold the syringe barrel). I hope I was clear with this remark.

    I sincerely hope that the injections will stop the MS!

  15. Hi,
    Just doing some research about MS injections and tattoos. I was just diagnosed with MS 2 weeks ago, but haven’t started my treatment yet. I will watch your video because I’m a little uneasy about the process…I’m sure the heads-up will help. I am currently being treated for double vision (with prednisone) and have a follow-up with my neurologist in a week to start treatment (blah). Thanks so much for posting your story. It’s not easy to talk about with friends/family because nobody seems to know what to say and sometimes they just make it feel worse!

    Thanks again,

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