Me, My MS and I

Jehovah! Jehovah!

There’s a fabulous sketch by Monty Python where a little old man is due to be stoned to death for saying a fish was fit for Jehovah, and says “Jehovah” again whilst waiting to be stoned. The crowd are shocked, but he says, “It can’t get any worse!” (My very abridged and rather dreadful retell).

I think it sums up rather well my predicament at the moment – things can’t get much worse. Having taken my steroids like a good girl, they’ve lowered my immune system to the extent that I now have a chest infection from a cold that started on Saturday night / Sunday. Dr has signed me off work for the week and given me Amoxicillin for a week to try and shift the infection. I’ve also been given a Ventolin Salbutamol inhaler to help my breathing (which is downright awful). Still feeling awful and breathing is rather difficult. Can’t sleep either as I cough as soon as I lie down and can’t get comfortable. After the steroids, my relapse doesn’t seem to be getting any better either. Needless to say I’m not a very happy bunny.

On the upside, I had an appointment with my MS nurse today for another bladder scan and had 416ml prior to ‘piddling’ and 97ml retained after, which is an improvement on last week and also under the magic 100ml : ) Going back for another scan next week, and if I retain less than 100ml again next week, they’ll be able to give me meds for my bladder problems and I won’t have to be referred to the continence service. Fingers crossed.

Still taking LDN every night since I stopped my steroids, so hopefully it’ll begin to have an effect soon.

No energy at the moment, so just a quick post. Will keep you updated.

Feeling Dreadful But Trying To Battle On

Day 3 of the Methylpred. and feeling pretty dang crappy. Never taken oral steroids for my MS before, but I’m sure it’s all pretty normal. The tablets taste absolutely foul – 5 all at one go – and I have a horrible bitter and metallic taste in my mouth constantly. Feel generally in poor health in addition to the relapse nonsense. Just 2 more doses to go, woohoo! Keeping an eye out for oral thrush, which my nurse warned me about – fingers crossed I don’t get it! Unfortunately, symptoms haven’t lessened any yet, but perhaps I’m looking for too much too soon. I’d read steroids generally increase appetite, but they’ve killed mine unfortunately.

As far as my symptoms go, walking is still mighty difficult and my legs are very wobbly. Knee buckling has gotten worse with this relapse. The FES has made a difference though, and I’m not worrying so much about my toes catching and falling over. Fatigue is very bad at the moment, and it’s almost impossible to work through – it’s as though a fog comes over me and I can barely think or function. Due to the nature of my work, I can take my time with tasks though and have a notebook I use to help me remember tasks to do. The nerve pain shooting down my right arm and into my fingers is still very painful and intermittent and I’m continuing to run to the loo frequently. Balance is still off and drifting a little as I walk (thinking of getting an ‘I’m not drunk’ badge!). ‘Phantom pain’ as I refer to it, is driving me berserk! My body hurts, rather badly, in areas and it’s frustrating, especially when I can’t take Ibuprofen as I’m on steroids. Cognitive abilities remain reduced, and I’m getting confused rather easily. I managed to say ‘England’ instead of ‘Edinburgh’ and was convinced I’d said Edinburgh! My speech isn’t the best either – having to enunciate my words more in order to speak clearly. For someone with a high IQ, it’s extremely frustrating and a little distressing if I’m honest, but I’ve been referred to the neuropsychologist the first week in December to test my cognitive functions and tackle any areas affected, and finding strategies to help me cope with the changes.

Had a bladder scan last night and the news wasn’t great: my bladder contained 171ml of urine, and after ‘piddling’ (as my nurse calls it) I still had 126ml in my bladder. Anything over 100ml left isn’t terribly good. I’ve to go back next Thursday for another scan in case it’s my relapse making things worse. If I still retain over 100ml after ‘piddling’, I’ll be referred to the continence service and intermittent self catheterisation may be needed. Oh, the joys! I take a cranberry supplement every day and do all I can to look after my bladder as I’m very prone to cystitis and had an awful urinary tract infection last year. Still, I’ll manage whatever my MS throws at me : )

Rather impatient to recommence the LDN once I’ve completed the steroid course, and this might improve my symptoms. And I have the Copaxone to start probably in January sometime too. Looking forward to both.

Finding it a little difficult to keep my spirits up – took me 40 minutes to walk to the bank and back at lunch time today, which usually takes 10 minutes at the most each way. Have to leave the flat earlier in the morning to get to work on time too, although thankfully I don’t have a long walk. Amazed I’m not off sick from work, but I think I’d get down if I was in the flat all day. It’s far from easy – extremely difficult in fact – but I battle on. I generally catch a taxi home as I’m worse by the end of the day. Walking, severe fatigue and cognitive functions are making it difficult, but luckily I have a great boss who’s very understanding, especially with all the time off I’ve had for hospital appointments recently. Not physically capable of taking part in my tai chi class tonight, so didn’t go, which I’m disappointed about, but sometimes one has to recognise when not to push too hard.

Down beat as this post may sound, it’s not all bad; I’m managing to keep my chin up and I’m determined to fight this as much as I can and keep going. It’s extremely difficult, but I do like a challenge! ; )

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