Sedating a dog when traveling
Those of you who have spent time in an NHS hospital may know what I mean.
Entering hospital when you are feeling perfectly well, only to spend time there and receive a treatment which may (initially) make you unwell, is a strange experience. It also made me hope I didn't last to a sufficiently old age to endure some of the indignities suffered by the older patients with distressing neurological conditions.
Before the Campath (or Lemtrada) infusion started, I was given two doses of antihistamine (Piriton and Zirtek) and some paracetamol.
The antihistamine was to act as a prophylactic to reduce the effects of the 'Campath Rash' (more of that later), while the paracetamol was designed to keep my temperature under control.
MS can be a devastating disease that takes many years to show its true self.
It is easy to forget about the disease, or even deny its existence, when you are in remission. Even immediately after a relapse, it is easy to believe that MS is a passing ailment.
Instead, they offered me Campath (or Lemtrada) on a compassionate basis, for which I cannot thank them enough. I was being offered the potentially more powerful drug, did not risk being randomly chosen to take Rebif (the beta-interferon drug chosen to compare with Campath), and did not have to endure the ghastly pre-treatment MRIs.
The sole, and rather minor, downside to this was that my treatment was administered on an NHS ward rather than in a swanky new clinical trial centre.
It would have been easy for them merely to exclude me and suggest I opt for beta-interferon treatment.It also made me envious of those on the official trial who would avoid this.Treatment started first thing in the morning, which I found exhausting, as I'd slept only a few hours during the night.The infusion lasted for 4 hours, and consisted of 20mg of Campath (or Lemtrada). The time taken to give the infusion was reduced each day as my body grew accustomed to the treatment.My most significant symptoms of the day were a persistent mild headache and a general overwhelming feeling of weakness.