My father thinks I was being pessimistic about those side effects Tecfidera is known for. I don’t think so. For starters, my father didn’t even know what kind of side effects he was talking about until I enlightened him. I read everything carefully, listened to what the doctor told me, searched online. Flushing occurs in more than 1 in 10 people, and nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea and itching in 1 in 10 people. They are frequent and very frequent side effects. It would be logical to think I would experience something, how severe no one could know. It wasn’t pessimism, it was only logic. And by planning to start on the weekend it wasn’t pessimism, it was prudence. It wouldn’t be nice to spend a work day – or five work days – in the toilet, would it? Besides, I knew very well I could be one of the lucky few. When I was about to start Copaxone I saw some pictures of skin reactions, and knowing how sensitive my skin is and how little fat I have under it to absorb the injection I was apprehensive. But I was more than two years on Copaxone and it was fine for most of the time. So really, I wasn’t being pessimistic, I was just playing it safe.
My mother called yesterday to ask how the MRI went. Quite awful. It was the longest I have ever been inside the machine without being able to move because it was the first time I actually did both brain and spinal cord in one sitting. Everything in my body hurt when I finally got out. The guy asked me when my next appointment is due. Next month. I couldn’t read his expression when I told him, but later I casually mentioned to my mother I wasn’t expecting good news from the results. Pessimistic? Not really. Last year I was on medication and the results were dismaying. So now that I haven’t been taking anything in over half a year, would it be logical to think everything was alright? Again, it’s not pessimism, it’s just being realistic. It’s to be expected.
Now does being realistic and prudent and logical make me bitter? You bet. And maybe that’s what people are perceiving and just calling it something else. Trust me, I would much rather believe in unicorns. I would much rather have not a care in the world. But I have to live life every day trying to make the best decisions and adapt to circumstances. I need to have my feet on the ground in order to be able to do that. Unicorns are not going to help me with that. (Sorry, unicorns.) So yes, I may be a bit bitter sometimes. But pessimistic? Overdramatic? No, not really.