Injection update - I had a grrreat appointment with a therapist!
She suggested a few things I don't normally try, including pain diversion tactics (intriguing), positive detailed visualization (mebbe challenging), moving out of the situation for an hour as soon as it becomes stressful (logical), and fake injecting myself every day for desensitization (ooh, also intriguing). Also, she suggested I not use so much pressure to hold the injector in place. I'm currently getting so stressed that I'm pushing the plastic guide ring down into my leg so hard that it leaves a deep impression. While this may seem like an obvious one, it's really tough to follow through on and it's something I've been working on for a while.
I'm excited to have new tools to try! Follow-up in a few weeks.
So far I've had the really fascinating revelation that desensitization training baffles my body! I got out the auto injector a few days ago and practiced injecting. "Pfft," I thought, "how hard can this be? There's no needle, no syringe, not even any prep…." HA! I turned the safety dial and guess what?! My finger wouldn't push the button! Nothing. After about a 2-second logic stutter, my hand pushed the trigger. I was left stunned at my body's little hiccup. So, I've been practicing regularly, and the hesitation is less and less each time. Our bodies are peculiar machines. No exception here.
I'm also fascinated by the pain diversion idea, but don't know enough about pain gateway theory to speak intelligently about it. Will keep your posted on what the therapist suggests/discovers in this area.
We'll see how the visualization goes too. I've tried it in the past and am totally open to the concept, but haven't had much success with it in the past. I need to do a little homework on this topic and figure out where to start. The overall idea is to develop a positive association with the injection, which would be great. I realize that the Avonex is meant to be of benefit, that injecting is the responsible thing to do and helps longterm, but I need to find something beyond that to focus on. Those things alone don't get me to push the button.
In other news - U2 concert this weekend! Woohoo! Camping the weekend after. It's been such a great summer so far. Abbey is investigating new beaches all the time, and we are having a blast exploring this gorgeous life.