Thursday, July 21, 2016

In sickness and in health and …divorce.

Who would be the most likely candidate to call for help with injecting myself with meds 3 times a week? Umm…my ex-husband?  If you think that is weird- you aren't alone. It started back in January when I knew I would need meds to help with my newly diagnosed MS treatment.  The pharmacy provided a visiting nurse to come out to train me to do the injections. I had used injectable meds years ago to help with pregnancy related complications when I had The Goofballs, so I was not concerned. In fact, when the nurse called to schedule a visit, I basically told her I already knew what I was doing so she didn't need to bother. But, it was policy and blah, blah. SO I scheduled an appointment for her to come to my house.

I didn't give it much thought, but the day before she arrived, the Wild One mentioned that maybe I could video the teaching session so that if I needed help, he or my mom could know what to do. It seemed like a good idea.  Oz was going to be at my house that evening with the kids so I asked him if he would video. He agreed.

When the nurse called to confirm the "training" she told us videoing was not allowed but that there was info and video on the med website blah, blah.  Something like that.

But, she said most people have someone there to be trained to help if needed so if I had someone that could come over that would be great.

When I told Oz there was not video allowed, he said he would still sit through the training class with me and help if needed.

When I introduced my ex-husband to the visiting nurse, she said that was a first for her to have Exes being trained together.

Yeah, I guess it is a bit unconventional.

The class was the longest hour ever, she gave me so much information and paperwork and techniques that I never thought I could keep it all straight. I suddenly felt very overwhelmed.  I quickly found that the "auto jet" injector that is supposed to help make things easier is in fact a pain in the ass and difficult to operate!

I did the very first injection with the nurse there and only messed up a little. But, when I tried on my own in the days following I knicked myself with the needle and wasted more than one shot.

Luckily Oz was patient and and really payed attention to the class.  He did a MUCH better job with the shots that I did.

SO I set up the injection schedule for the 3 days a week Oz is at my house to visit  the kids already. The nurse said most people did Monday, Wednesday and Friday and she thought that I should do that instead.  I stopped just short of telling her to go fuck herself. Then made the schedule I wanted.

I figured for the first week or  2 it would help if Oz could assist.

And then…6 months went by.

Oz went on vacation in early July and that is when it fully hit me that he has been giving me 98% of my shots since January.

The injection sites are rotated arms, legs, hips and stomach. Really the stomach is the only spot I can do without help. I had to stop using my legs because the injection sites would swell up and hurt for a week.The meds burn my skin so the arms hurt like hell!  And I can't reach my hips very well.  But, the excessive fat in my stomach makes it a perfect place for the meds, too fat to feel the burn!

I have talked to other people with MS that have a relative assist them as needed with injections. Or some that have even gone off the meds because the burning at the injection site is awful or the swelling gets to be a bit much.  I haven't met anyone yet that has an Ex help them though and when they ask me about my "support person" they get a really puzzled look.

Even people that know us well have had an odd look when they try to process that Oz is the one that helps me.   I know, I get it. I even agree that it's funny! We are not above the Dr. Oz jokes!

But, I am thankful for the support system I have.

The Wild One has also been great about helping me with the shots when Oz isn't here or our schedules change, etc.  He does a fantastic job with it!

 Even Oz's girlfriend Dorothy is great about entertaining the kids when she is here so Oz can help me.

All in all the system has worked well. But, I know I can't take for granted that my ex-husband or anyone is going to be committed to helping give me meds forever. This isn't a temporary thing. I think in the beginning I thought it was.  Like it would just go away or stop being MS. Or something.
But, it is finally sinking in that this condition is permanent.

At some point I have to stop needing an assist. I have to find techniques that work without relying on someone else.

But, in the meantime I am so very grateful that Oz has stepped up and helped so much! It really put things in perspective and has given me a new outlook as we co-parent together. When he needs flexibility in his schedule or asks me to consult on a parenting issue, I am much more aware of the fact that I am dealing with a person who cares about me and my family and my health. Instead of looking for a fight or thinking he has an ulterior motive every time he speaks, I have come to appreciate that he is a good and thoughtful person. He goes above and beyond his co-parenting duties by helping me even though he doesn't have to. It is good for the kids to see we work together still when it comes to the things that matter.

Despite Divorce we still maintain a family unit that functions, even if it looks a little crazy from the outside.

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