My Red Bikini Dream

I have this recurring dream.

I’m in a large public pool with people everywhere, and I’m wearing a bright red bikini. I’m thinking that I look pretty hot as I start getting out of the pool. I slowly walk up the steps to return to my lounge chair, with plans to sunbathe.

But suddenly water starts spewing out of my body through my past injection sites. It starts out with just a few spots on my arms and legs, but soon there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of tiny fountains that have sprouted out of every part of my body.

I try to stop the water by blocking the little holes with my hands, but it doesn’t work — there are too many! Everyone is staring, and I’m completely mortified. I’m tempted to scream “It’s from my shots!” to all the people pointing and laughing at me…as if anyone would understand what that means!

At that point, I usually wake up in a panic and check to make sure my bed and I are dry. I always feel relieved that it was just a dream, although I must say there’s a little disappointment that I don’t have that same body I had in the beginning of the dream wearing that little red bikini. ; )

When I ask myself why I would have such a crazy dream, I think it comes down to my self-consciousness about all the little bumps and lumps on my body from years and years of daily injections.

Common side effects of MS injection therapies include pain, redness, welts and irritation at injection sites. The term “lipoatrophy” is used to describe the odd dimpling, crater-like sunken areas on your skin where you repeatedly inject.

Some people with MS are too embarrassed by this to wear shorts or tank tops. I can completely relate — when I go to the pool or the beach, I always wear board shorts over my bikini bottoms and cover up with a towel until the moment I get in the water.

I’ve been on injection therapies since 1994 when I was diagnosed with MS. I did the math, and that means I’ve done more than 4,000 shots. They aren’t fun and often hurt, burn, swell, bruise or bleed.  But there’s no way I’ll stop.

I’ll continue to “shoot myself” because my therapy has been medically proven to slow down the progression of my disease. This daily dose of hope, as I refer to it, allows me to continue to live my life with fewer MS symptoms.

I’m sure my dream with come again. But the next time, I hope that instead of being embarrassed, I’ll strut around the pool showing off  those past injection sites. My daily shots are my way of fighting this disease, and that’s something to be proud of!

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10 thoughts on “My Red Bikini Dream

  1. MS doesn’t sleep when we do…thank you for this honest look into some of what can’t be seen about our MS.

  2. Wow! What a dream! I’d probably wake up due to being scared of seeing myself in a bikini!!! I do relate to you the lipoatrophy! I have it too and even though it is not attractive, I’ve been blessed to be attack free for 12 years now and would trade that for the world!

    I love your blog! Keep well and keep blogging!
    Kami Sjoberg – past advocate

  3. typo… I meant to say ‘wouldn’t trade’

  4. Jill Garner says:

    L♥ve the stories you share & the sense of humor ~ I can hear the laughter we share!!

  5. Sue Kelly says:

    When I felt unhappy about the lipoatrophy on my legs, my dear friend Lee said “You may not have Barbie legs….but they work”. Nuf said….

  6. Paul says:

    Your attitude is truly an inspiration. Keep up the good work. I firmly believe that attitude plays a big part in our daily lives. With your attitude your days will be better than you expect!

  7. Sarah Harris says:

    OK, I’m instantly over my needle phobia. You’re a trooper!

  8. Karen Barton says:

    Tricia you continue to inspire me as you do many others that you interact with in this world. Thanks for all you do as a support system to others and for all you do to raise funds for research and awareness for the disease of MS.

  9. Sue Kelly says:

    As my dear friend Lee told me, when I was stressing over a trip to Maui and lipoatrophy….”You may not have Barbie legs, but they work”. Put things in perspective for me!

  10. Sue Kelly says:

    Holy cow, didn’t remember posting that way back in Feb! That’s what my 10 hour work day in Arizona heat does, geez.

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