Bella Italia – a first try on vacation with my MS

Since I am little, every year around easter my whole family (which comes up to about 30 people some years) meets up on a campsite near Venice, Italy. Every year it is the greatest fun and it always was THE holiday I was looking most forward to. Except this year.

Even weeks before I started worrying about everything new about it. Where am I supposed to store my shots? Where do I have a hygienic place for injections? How many shots should I take with me, in case I’d lose one or break one during the journey? But most of all: How will my family react to me & everything they know already about my MS – PLUS seeing me doing my injections (since on a campsite the toilets are not an option to ‘hide’) in the caravan we rented. And it is pretty hard to catch a second alone in there as the weather is mostly pretty bad around that time and everyone likes to stay inside in a nice chatty round.

It is so easy at home. Only me and my lovely, at home on the couch, most of the time. There is no stress on preparing an injection, having someone watch it (he knows how to do it and it’s no big deal for him anymore also), and pulling my pants down for it. No trouble! Also I try to keep my injections on time, which is not that easy working different shifts including late nights. Also, I’d have to do an injection on a night out at friend’s – no problem, since they know about it and, well, the all DO have clean houses and bathrooms.

But then, on easter-saturday, there is this big family dinner we always have, every year, and it’s awesome, normally – if it wasn’t for my stupid diagnosis and the fact that the restaurant we always go to is in the MIDDLE of Venice. It takes a car- then busdrive and a 20mins walk there, same back. And I know we’re gonna stay there at least until 2am eating, drinking and chatting, AND I know how their restrooms look like. Because practically, there are none.

How am I supposed to set my injection there…?
Not at all? Just leave one out.
In the backyard of a fish restaurant where the outdoor restrooms are?
Or actually wait until we’re back on the campsite and sit down there at like 3am, more than 4 hours late?

Or just give a polite sh*t (excuse me) about it and take my injections out on a full crowded restaurant table, put it together and then go to the restrooms (because taking my pants off in there would actually REALLY be too much)? For some reason, that’s what I decided to do. I did it all very discretely under the table – until the part of tapping out the bubbles came, and I had to lift the needle slightly to have some light. That’s when my mum told me to put that damn thing away, there’s no need to show.

And that hurt.

I can’t help it, I still feel stupid about it. I could have done it another way I guess. I’m still not used to all of this, as my diagnosis was only 5 months ago. There’s no routine to it, and I don’t feel like I could ever have a feeling of routine when it comes to the injection-subject. I’m a little bitter at my mum as well, I wish she would stop asking why I sleep so much and when the therapy ends. Because it doesn’t end. And I won’t be back to ‘normal’. I hate being her sick daughter. But on the other hand I wish she’d accept and understand. I know it’s hard to see a mostly invisible illness, even I’ve got truoble seeing – and I AM the one who has it.

Anyway, Italy was really exhausting but good. I just need to figure out another way to do my injections there. (As well as find different explanations for my fatigue, the weird aches in my body and my incredible clumsiness.) And in summer, on the upcoming sailing trip. And on the visits of my parents. And my grandpa. And…hold on. Pretty much everywhere and anytime.

Great. This is so not working.

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