I have always thought it was a little crazy and extremely frustrating that medications meant to slow the progression of illnesses down, are accompanied by a long list of possible side effects. I know that the Gilenya I take daily is supposed to slow the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis, but it has a really LONG list of potential side effects and at one point that was what pushed me to want to make a change in my treatment plan.
The middle of last year I was having so many issues with terrible sinus headaches and migraines that I wanted to find out what was causing them. After reviewing what side effects Gilenya posed, I saw somethings that were common was headaches and sinus troubles. I was not just looking the side effects up on Google, but I was on Gilenya’s actual website, so I took this very serious as I am sure most people would. I went to my doctor with these concerns and she pretty much dismissed my thoughts claiming that it was not all that common with this medication and that I shouldn’t be doing this kind of research because it was “false” information. I argued back asking how it could be false when it was on the manufactures real website!? Of course I was frustrated that my valid concerns regarding my health was being ignored and not even willing to discuss more at that time, so I decided to ignore her medical advice and demanded that I try a new medication immediately. It wasn’t until I told her there was another oral medication I read about that I thought would be better for me she finally decided it was worth her precious time to have a conversation with me. She tried her darndest to use the fear tactic, which of course wasn’t working well with me and only caused me to question her logic further. I know it sounds crazy, but I was completely convinced that she was receiving kick-backs from the drug company and me not changing medications would continue to be financially beneficial to her.
In preparation to change my treatment plan from Gilenya to Tecfidera I discontinued the Gilenya last July. I was required to be off medication completely for 6 weeks, so all the Gilenya I had taken needed be out of my system and allow the Tecfidera to be able get into my system. In early September I started on Tecfidera which again is an oral medication. During this time my MS did not get better, but much worse! I guess MAYBE the doctor was correct when she said Tecfidera wasn’t going to be strong enough for me or maybe I had the nasty relapse because of ALL the stress I was under. I was so worried about the headaches and the fact that Gilenya could have been the cause and then even more concerned that my MS was progressing way too soon in my life. Whatever the cause was the MRI I had in early October was HORRIBLE, landing me right back to the drug I was convinced was causing my headaches!
It still doesn’t seem fair to me that we have to make the decision if we would rather deal with the side effects of these so-called helpful drugs or be disabled. As difficult as it is to deal with the massive headaches/migraines, I would much rather deal with them rather than lose my normal abilities, like walking without assistance. I still do not think it is right for anyone to have to make a decision like this, but I guess it is what it is!
I have been back on the Gilenya for a little over a year now and I do still deal with sinus trouble and migraines, but at least the MS hasn’t to have progressed. I do think that until there is a cure for MS, which I must believe will happen in my lifetime, I will not be changing medications! Now that my husband and I have completed our move, I am searching for a new MS Specialist, who will hopefully be more knowledgeable and have much better bedside manner. I know I have already shared this with y’all, but I am NOT a fan of my previous specialist. As crazy as this may sound, I want a specialist that is an older gentlemen because I have found they are more understanding and considerate. Of course going with an older person, I run the risk of them retiring, like two of my previous specialist did and I absolutely LOVED them! I am sure that with the determination I have, I will find one that is best for me and my personality. I guess it shouldn’t be as important to have the warm and fuzzy with a doctor as it is for the doctor to be knowledgeable, but I need to feel comfortable with them in order to trust the doctor.
I always appreciate you taking the time to stop by my site today and I always love reading your comments! I hope y’all are having a nice weekend and you are feeling as good as you possibly can! I must say having a long weekend is absolutely wonderful and I have been able to rest, but still do things that needed to be done! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort and many positive vibes!