All is all, this whole thing hasn't been so bad.
Dude, thats about the best attitude you can have!! Congratulations!! It usually takes people years to get to that point. Im very impressed.
Welcome to our family of MSers- and the most support youll find anywhere! I was 38 when I got dx- and from the sounds of it, with many of the same issues. You asked quite a few questions and I can only answer a few of them, but hopefully more will join the thread and say their piece...
Copaxone, Im not able to really talk to you about. I was on it for 3 shots and found out I was allergic. I had horrible reactions to the drug. Been on Rebif now for 4 years and Im very stable. I love my drug. I have been told and heard from other posters that the welts are normal for Copaxone users. You might want to talk to your Copaxone nurse or doctor about whether you are permitted to massage the area the day after the shot (I know its not recommended as soon as you do the shot) because there is a product which Ive told lots of Rebif users about, called Arnica gel - you can find it in any health food store- its an all natural gel which is used to reduce redness and bruising. It really works. For about 6$ a tube youll find it lasts months- and for Rebif users,it eliminates the red bullseye type thing we get where we inject. Ask your doctor or nurse if its okay to massage the area with this the day after you inject....I do know that it takes 6 full months for any of the injectables to build up in your blood stream before they reach full levels- so its possible that the first two weeks that you saw nothing it was just starting to build up. I think that part is fairly common for most new Copaxone users..
questions 2 and 3 I think are related. How did you like that Achter gel injection? I did that once, it was nothing. But, it also didnt help me the way IVSm helped....however, live and learn. Not many of us have tried the Achter. Thats kind of old school- but it was certainly easier then walking around with an IV in my hand/ arm for 5 days... but onto your questions. You talk about gait and balance and also talk about exercise. As a former dancer, Im amazed that my body and feet dont cooperate the way I expect them to. Im also athletic, a whopping 110 lbs at 5'4" and in very good shape. My first year of being dx, though, I let all the muscle tone go- I was terrified. So I too, tried Yoga. Hated it. I cant sit still for 30 seconds in any position, let alone clear my mind and try to relax....so I moved onto trying new things. 4 years later, I have a pretty good routine. I own a Gazelle. Its like a glider. A cross between the treadmill and the eliptical, i find that it works so much better for me balance wise. And, I do about 2 miles a day on it. I also went out and invested in a balance ball and some tapes. Core Secrets is a great collection of DVDs which target different areas of the body...and no, its not just for girls. You use dumbells with it, and because you are sitting on a balance ball, I have found it helped immensely with balance issues! Im using 20 lb weights, imagine what a big strong guy could use??
I also own a WII. I invested in the balance board and the EA exercise game and use them both! The balance board has so many games and exercises built in that I find its really helped...the game I bought is both fun and also has a personal trainer who gets my heart beat up, and gives me both cardio and balance. I know that for someone who probably was gym bound every day this doesnt sound possible, but trust me, my tone is back,my muscle definition are back and my balance and gait- much improved! I really recommend looking into these type activities.
The swelling feeling in your head? Not so much- but I have heard of it before. Maybe someone else will pitch in with more info. Definately talk to your doc about it regularly. Your Neuro is your new best friend! I hope you have a good relationship with him. Its really great to hear from someone who says that this isnt really "hurting" them. I hope and pray that you continue to have that attitude and all good things come your way. Ive been very fortunate to be blessed with a good outlook, and have a job which allows me to see much worse things daily- keeping me grounded (and grateful) that MS is all I deal with.
Welcome again, to both of you and please keep in touch with us! Its great to have new people to join in and share with!