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Weill Cornell MS center infusion suite

I welcome to the Infusion Room

At the Judith Jaffe MS Center intravenous medications are administered on varied schedules by one of two tall nurses: I am Oasia, your regular nurse. Welcome. I'll greet you when you arrive, tell you all about your day and answer your questions (the more philosophical the better)

Time in the Room is as short as one hour or as long as seven in a day. For some, it’s time to work and for others, time to nap. I liken it to a layover: you eat your snacks, play with your phone and peek out of the window while in the company of strangers.

What you will learn in this room is that MS is just a thing and it can be managed. Television and movies would have us believe that a diagnosis means one will immediately lose all mobility and end up in a wheelchair. Some people do end up in chairs, most people do not. People with MS do everything people without do, so have your glass of wine, take that vacation, read that book!

The key is management, being consistent in your treatment and lifestyle. One upshot is that most people will educate themselves on various forms of the mind/body connection and stress relief and introduce changes that are positive all around.

What I love most about the infusion room is that no matter what type of day anyone is having, or their personality type in general, everyone in the room remembers when they were new. They remember diagnosis, first treatment. Whenever a new person is in, and in need, that person is ALWAYS embraced by the others and it is wonderful to see.

Way back before Covid, a guest could sit with a person being infused. Once, a patient ‘s VERY stern husband, in response to a newbie’s tears, softly began to sing “Soft Kitty” (https://youtu.be/N-qra604RbU) everyone in the room joined in and by the end, everyone was laughing and the new patient was much less afraid.

The greatest part of being in the infusion room is the sense of community, the wealth of support and information exchanged (as well as recipes, travel tips and Netflix recommendations) One day you’ll come in, look across the aisle, and see someone who reminds you of you, welcome them.

 

Oasia Holback, RN

Weill Cornell Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center 1305 York Ave., Second Floor New York, NY 10021