Beware of expletive acronyms! I’m mad as hell.
In my last post, I asked what exactly I had to celebrate about living with MS. I found quite a lot to celebrate in my life, all except from the damn disease itself! I ‘celebrated’ World MS Day by sitting in a dark conference room on a sunny day, listening to speakers, chatting to friends, eating some salmon, dozing off once or twice (I blame a full tummy and warm air!), then getting out into the sunshine afterwards as fast as my legs would take me! Hooray Vitamin D here I come.
Our Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly and his department, picked a great week to dump the news on us MS patients that they will NOT be funding a new drug Fampyra, that a lot of us have been taking on a trial basis, some of us (including me) getting great results.
Picture James Reilly taking a pin to my celebratory balloon.
Hit me while I’m down, why not give me a kick too while you’re at it? Seriously… WTF?
WTF HSE?! To clarify any confusion over the acronym… HSE = Health Service Executive (of Ireland). To continue taking this new drug Fampyra will now cost me up to 400 euro per month! You have met my wayward left arm in an earlier blog post (http://wp.me/p4ezB1-2h). He’s currently queuing up at the back door of a dodgy bar on the wrong side of town. Getting ready to paaarrrttttaayyyy!
I remember four days after starting the trial on Famprya, reaching for my glass of water with my left hand automatically without thinking (I always used my right at the time), taking a drink, and my heart skipping a beat. My son was sitting beside me and witnessed my outpouring of emotion. It was the smallest, simplest thing; my left arm wasn’t shaking any more! I phoned my dad and closest friends immediately, delight euphoria and tears of joy followed. This new drug was working! When I had calmed down enough to go to bed, my balance seemed better allowing me to pull off my jumper over my head WITHOUT having to sit on my bed, again a tiny thing, but to me it was a massive joyous occurrence. In the following weeks my walk improved so much – my friends called me Speedy Gonzales.
Now this new drug is not being funded through any scheme within our Irish health system. I have two weeks supply left. I am keeping them for the weeks coming up to my holidays in the hope that after four days, I’ll feel benefits again. It’s bloody hard enough managing MS symptoms without an effective drug being taken off you. No chance I can afford it. I doubt many MS patients can. Only time will tell how I will be affected by it’s loss. I sincerely hope I don’t suffer many ill effects, if I do, I may have to try and fund it myself somehow. How dare civil servants within the HSE decide on a whim to reduce my chances at battling this disease? Fampyra is a drop in their Health Budget ocean! This little fish’s celebrations have been seriously dampened. WTF?
I have already been shouting, appealing and nagging about this petition on Facebook and Twitter, thank you all who have already signed it. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, please take a moment to sign this petition, aimed at highlighting the need to provide funding through the Long Term Illness scheme for MS patients who benefit from Fampyra, to Mr. James Reilly TD, Minister for Health in Ireland.