Infused

By Chernise Joseph

I wanted to do some corny joke like, ‘Yep, that’s me! I bet you’re wondering how I got here,” for the photo from my infusion on Friday, but it seemed a little too double-edged… badumtiss. No? That’s alright, infusion jokes are never funny unless they’re mixed up juuuust right. Ha, okay, in all seriousness – my multiple sclerosis said hello to me on Friday. Well, I suppose it always says hello, but it likes to do it in unique ways sometimes like in the form of an 8-hour infusion. Whew! You read that right. Eight hours of beeping, vitals, tubing, fluorescent lights, too-cold rooms…

I used to hate infusion days. They were long, yes, but they were mostly scary to me. I didn’t know what to expect, nor did I really understand just how important what I was doing was. Of course, I had done as much research as a 23-year-old with a humanities degree could do, but my brain still felt frazzled. What if I spontaneously combust? What if I grow an extra head? What if I’m patient zero for the zombie apocalypse? It was all I could think of going up to the infusion, during it, and even after for a while.

Here’s the funny part, though, I used to hate infusion days. After my second or third infusion, my mom and I became ‘infusion buddies.’ Now, I’m definitely not going to lay claim for that term, but it changed my perspective on my treatment days. My infusion days became full of good food from my favorite restaurant that my mom and I would order to the infusion facility and then we’d binge-watch some show in between the thousands of snacks we were taking from the coffee bar in the infusion center. I watched Better Call Saul twice because of her.

It’s been three years since my mom and I had an infusion day together after she lost her battle to cancer. While she may be gone, my infusion buddy legacy will live on as long as I do. My infusion buddies look different now, but they all make me feel the same way: this day I’m going into is going to be bearable. No, this day I am going into is going to be memorable. Come what may with needles and medication, at least I am spending those eight hours with my favorite person.

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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