Caring for Yourself After Infusions By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • November 15, 2017
Anyone who has ever flown on an airplane has certainly heard the flight attendants give the advice, “place the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping others.”
To me, that’s an important analogy to living with relapsing MS and self-care. It is so important to tenderly care for yourself both physically and emotionally, not just for you, but also for everyone around you! If you don’t make the time to take care of yourself you will most definitely not be able to be there when others need you.
When I began my treatment journey, I felt like I was taking the time to invest in myself.
Choosing LEMTRADA was just that for me. I couldn’t change the fact that I had RMS, but I could take active steps to try to slow the progression of disability. Having the choice to make a change was empowering to me.
I like to be proactive, with everything really. So, knowing that I would have some long infusion days and may experience rash, headache, fatigue or other infusion-related side effects, during and after treatment, I decided to take on some planning.
Would I feel like making my family meals? Probably not!
Would I need to be able to rest and recover from the infusions? You betcha!
Since I’d be spending approximately 8-hour days at the infusion center for 5 consecutive days of infusions, and I didn’t think the staff would appreciate my three small children there during that time (can you even imagine?), my awesome in-laws helped us by committing to helping wrangle our three munchkins. May I just say how thankful and lucky I am to have such a supportive family?
I also did other things before starting treatment, like making sure my house was in good order and prepping meals ahead of time to make life easier for all of us. This kind of thinking ahead has actually continued into my daily routine…most of the time, that is. Good planning for daily life has been such a tremendous stress-reliever for me! Who doesn’t want to lighten their load? Can I get an "Amen"?
Oh yes! One great tip that I just remembered is to keep a journal or notepad to document any kind of side effects as well as medications you’re taking, the timing, and dosages of them, to keep things simple. That was really helpful for me while I was managing everything.
After I had logistical things covered, I wanted to prepare a peaceful environment to promote recovery from any infusion reactions.
I love, love, love flowers and candles. Anyone who’s been to my house will tell you that I love to keep fresh flowers in the house. They just make me feel good! So, of course, I made sure that I had some extra flowers, candles, and some of my favorite music and books ready to help soothe me after the infusions. All that stuff is just so “feel good” to me.
Another thing I find therapeutic is being around horses. My husband was so sweet and would take me over to see my horse, Ben, just so I could brush him a little or spend some quality time with him and give him his favorite treats. Ben has always been a welcome distraction for me.
Honestly, the infusions were not the easiest (or most difficult) things I’ve ever gone through, because of all the help I had from my excellent healthcare team and the support I had from my family. After giving myself time to rest and recover from the infusions, I was able to slowly get back into the swing of things. Let me tell you, it was nice to spend some time taking care of myself and it felt good to get back into a routine. I haven’t looked back a day since then.
The return was worth the investment. I invested in myself and was able to get on a treatment that worked for me. I “put the oxygen mask on myself first” and took the time to care for myself first.
Since I’m always looking for different ways to feel better and work on my self-health, now I’d like to ask you, what do you do to get to that “feel good” place?
- INFUSION PREP
- side effects
Monthly Monitoring: One Part of My To-Do List
By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer, October 18, 2017
During my experience speaking at LEMTRADA events, I have noticed that the commitment of monitoring for 4 years
My Experience with Side Effects
By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer, April 6, 2017
*Insider advice: Keep a journal of some sort to document your entire infusion experience. It’s a great way to keep track
Attend a live event or watch one online to learn more about LEMTRADA.
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