Monday, December 13, 2010

Involving Children in MS

As part of my recent move back to the US, we stayed with my parents for two months and I picked up a wonderful idea for involving kids with my MS medicine.

My father is diabetic and checks his blood sugar before every meal. My children followed him up to his room during the first week we were there and started asking him all sorts of questions about how the procedure. Soon after, I realized that they were going up to his room every time he was checking his blood sugar and getting angry if he didn't include them in it. He had divided up the tasks involved between my two girls and involved them in it. When my nephew came to visit, they eagerly brought him up with them to show him how Grandpa was "doing his numbers".

I quickly adapted this excellent idea for myself. I was used to taking my Copaxone when the kids were at school, so I shifted it to before school. Every morning, one child unscrews the autoject and one tears open the alcohol pad. On opens the package to the needle (still well capped), and I insert it into the autoject. They watch the indicator to see when it's done, then hand me a cotton ball. One gets to throw the capped needle into sharps container and the other throws out the trash. The love it.

The kids know that the medicine helps to keep me healthy, and they love being able to help me out with it. It's an easy way to demystify the whole process, give them a sense of ownership over it, and keep the discussion of MS open within the household. Plus it's a fun thing we can all do together!