Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I prick myself (like I touch myself but less fun)

Today was my first dose of Betaferon. I presented myself at Neuro Central for a quick start guide to giving myself my interferons. I got a demo, then I tried on the demo and then I was up!

In order to give yourself Betaferon you have to do a little work. First you have to attach the syringe of saline to the bottle of interferons. Not too hard if you remember to take the cap off the syringe. Then you shake it baby - but not too hard, suck it back into the syringe, detach the empty vial and you're nearly ready for business. In fact if you are a brave person you are ready. Now would be the time that you would 'peench an eench' and put in the jab. But if it had been me I'd still be there finger poised over the plunger, too chicken to push it.

Fortunately for chickens there is a lovely auto injector! You put the syringe in, close it up, put it on the spot you want, push the 'play' button and there's no turning back! It slowishly injects you and when you're all done "Ping" a little alarm goes off! It was much less traumatic than I was expecting! I have a supplied ice pack to put on the spot and I bought one as well so I'm all set. 

Once you've done the deed you then open her up and remove the syringe. So you're left with a sharp little needles contaminated with interferons and human. So it must be disposed off. The good old way is to put them in a sharps bin. These will take the whole kit n caboodle which is fine at home. Once it's filled up you give it to the biohazard people. But what if you're gadding off around the world....or spending 3 weeks in the States. You can't as easily heft around a sharps bin. I guess you could put it in your check-in luggage but it's a nuisance really.  Never fear! There is a fabulous little device to stop the hassle of carrying a big yellow bin around. It's called a needle clipper. 

The needle clipper does just that - you poke the needle in a funnel on the side, press a button and the needle is snipped off and you are left with an innocent syringe who wouldn't hurt a fly! These hold 200 needles so last way longer than a sharps bin, can be easily transported on a plane and are pretty easy to use.

So those are the fun toys I got! But wait there's more! There's a stress ball to squeeze, a diary; to mark which of the sites I used so I can rotate around 36 sites before returning to the first - theoretically more than 2 months later; and a mat to use when preparing my syringe - reminiscent of Club in Co in the 70's.

When you travel on a plane you have to carry all your medication with you in your carry-on. Well my medication is a carry-on in it's own right! For a three week trip to California I need to take 11 boxes containing vial, syringe and connector, the auto injector, the snipper and an ice pack. Sounds manageable doesn't it. To make life easy the nice Bayer people even give you a bag to carry it in. So we're talking a toilet bag sized bag you're think more back pack!

Yep! She's a good size! Basically I take that on board and that's my hand luggage now the US only allow one bag! Otherwise it takes up all the space in my carry-on thus preventing me from carrying out my clever plan to fit 3 weeks worth of clothing pretty much in my carry on leaving a whole suitcase for bring stuff back in. - More on that later!

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