So the verdict is in, and my neurologist has diagnosed me with Multiple Sclerosis. This is considered to be an immune-mediated disease, in which my own immune system essentially does irreparable damage to nerves in the central nervous system, causing demyelination of neurons which alters and inhibits neural transmission. The most commonly diagnosed form is called Relapsing/Remitting MS, which is what Dad has, and in most cases eventually, over 10-15 years, progresses to Secondary Progressive MS. In my case, the initial diagnosis was Secondary Progressive MS, meaning I likely cannot expect to ever return to normal for periods of time, only have ups, downs and plateaus that never leave me feeling 100% my former self, but may wax and wane and generally worsen over time. He did say that if I can tolerate the prescribed Copaxone, a 3 times weekly injection that mimics a protein in myelin, thereby allowing the immune system to “attack” the injection rather than the actual myelin in nerve sheaths, it is unlikely that I will progress to severe disability/wheelchair status.
Of course, I am still waiting on approval from the insurance company to actually start the injection, but the great news is that my symptoms, after worsening quite scarily all last week to the point where I could not carry a laundry basket a distance of 50 feet without stopping to sit down, and had to lean against walls, tabletops and countertops when standing more than 5-10 minutes… have now lessened to the point where I have very normal strength and energy and only mild numbness and tingling in my right hand, foot and knee! I really want to start that injection, like, yesterday, with hopes that it will forestall a repeat of last week!
In fact, yesterday I managed to perform an ovariohysterectomy/spay and was able to find the uterus using my right hand- last week the prickling sensation and numbness overwhelmed all other sensory input and I’d never have been able to find the ovarian horn (without making a bigger incision and locating it by visualizing it rather than feeling for it). And that is if I could even manage to stay upright for long enough to do the surgery. So things are, indeed, looking up.
I want to thank all of you for your messages of love and support, and for the flood of prayers and good vibes that you sent my way. I never realized what a boost and a comfort it could be. I’ve also received a number of emails off-blog offering tips and support and love and morale-boosting.
The lovely Guylty, who knows me well, sent a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and a generous wine voucher! This came when I was at my lowest point, and almost nothing other than this particular combination could have cheered me.
Then this week, another package arrived from Linnet, who took the time to create a one-of-a-kind “Dr. Armitage Prescribes” box… complete with humorous kitty cats and swoon-worthy Richard images… and a delicious array of Sugarfina candies! That Dr. Armitage was spot-on, and I have to say that as appealing as Dr. Hottie the neurologist is… he can’t hold a candle to this guy!
Meanwhile, I am actively doing everything I can to really supply my body with healthy food packed with vitamins and antioxidants- tons of fruits, vegetables and weird stuff like Kombucha and seaweed and on and on… I have to make a life change and do everything I can so I can stick around and be actively involved for these three… they are everything to me, and they need me.
I have so many reasons to be thankful, so many blessings in my life. And all of YOU are definitely among them. (((HUGS)))