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Lesson 1

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The lesson I have learnt this week is: Never become complacent about MS, if you have it.

I have been feeling so well and strong lately, even broaching the subject of returning to work in the not too distant future. (As early as next year, I was thinking).

This week has been like a glass of cold water in my face, reminding me of things that I’d really rather forget.

I had a good check-up at the neurologist. I mentioned that I am having a mild relapse, worthy of a gram of solu-medrol, no more. And on Saturday, like a good girl, I booked into hospital, had my gram and thought that was it.

My optic neuritis (reason for treatment) was clearing up beautifully. I seemed to be breezing through the side-effects, only to have a bit of a slump on Monday. Imagine my horror, though, when I suddenly started having a lot of trouble breathing. Very reminiscent of my first (and diagnostic) relapse when I had an actual lesion on my spine that was affecting my breathing. So much so that the neuro took one look at my MRI scan and booked me into hospital post-haste after spending most of the day trying to convince me that there was nothing wrong with me that he could see.

So yes, I knew that feeling well. It was back. Not only that, but my butt was numb. That old chestnut. Mission impossible: removing a wedgie that isn’t there. Next in line, right hand, followed by right leg, right foot – you get the picture. Progressing fast now. Still feeling irritable from the cortisone, depressed. My own version of depressed: uninspired to do anything, but also bored out of my skull by the chafing inactivity. No gym, of course. Not with the whole ‘can-hardly-breath’ lark.

Phoned my neurologist this morning. He says it’s definitely a relapse. Urged me to go back to hospital for another two grams, spread over two days. I feel foolish now for having taken it so lightly and only having 1 gram of solu-medrol.

I phoned my GP to ask him to arrange another hospital stay. Only, there are no available beds in the whole city. Three private hospitals and no bed for me. What if it was an emergency? It isn’t far from it, my breathing is laboured and I am ratty

Hopefully tomorrow there will be room at the inn. The Hospital Inn, that is. Holiday Inn, it ain’t. Huge irritation will be getting the drip in. After a session of cortisone, my veins are as flat as a pancake. Even ‘magic-fingers’ the neuro can’t get a needle in to draw blood first go after I’ve had cortisone. But that is tomorrow’s worry.

Part Two of my check-up chronicles was going to be about the lung function test I had to have done. Not surprisingly (in retrospect) the levels were down. The doc kept asking if I had noticed anything with my breathing, and I said, “not really”. Little did I know.

Funnily enough, parts of the test showed increased levels of breathing function. I don’t understand it all that well, but half of the tests are indicative of muscular strength in breathing. So there I was, breathing with my new and improved diaphragm techniques and it showed a definite increase. For the rest (that one where you sit in a little chamber breathing into a funnel that sprays gas down your throat) the levels were uncomfortably down. The specialist was a bit flummoxed by the one half going up and the other down. Said he, “just couldn’t explain it.” I didn’t want to admit that it was a bit rigged on my part. I said, “well, I have been doing some breathing exercises…”. He didn’t even acknowledge the admission, so pathetic a theory was it, lol.

But I’m convinced. Diaphragmatic breathing rocks. Although apparently not when you have an MS lesion interfering with your breathing.

So now I’ve just gotten over the insomnia and depression and general yukkiness of having IV cortisone and I have to go through it all again! That sucks.

I wish my symptoms will go away during the night.

Written by Maggie

August 5, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I’m sorry Maggs. I can’t believe they aren’t getting you into hospital sooner. I mean you are BATTLING TO BREATH! Goeie genade man. I hope they find that bed for you soon


    August 6, 2008 at 7:51 am

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