Sunday, June 13, 2010

11 Days After My Liberation from MS

Hey Guys,
It has been 11 days since I had my procedure done. If you saw my videos then you know the amazing improvement in only 24 hours. These are the areas with improvement:

1.       Standing:  Getting up from a sitting position no longer requires any assistance. Although I had been able to stop using a support pole to help me pull myself off  my living room chair, I had to rely on it at the onset of this latest relapse.
On Friday, June 5 I was able to rise from sitting position by holding on to the arm of the chair.
The support bar above my bed is still there, but I haven’t needed it for five days.
2.       Walking:   Short distances are getting much easier. I have been able to walk from the parking lot into Wal Mart.  Today I shopped for about an hour without sitting down. I went at a normal speed throughout most of the store.  I have not taken any baclofen, tizinidine or any other medications in that category. The back of my legs, calves and thighs are causing a moderate amount of pain. By the end of the day, the pain is severe. My ankles are particularly weak. I do not have any issues with spasticity at all. I feel like I have been hiking for hours by evening. The soreness has not gone away completely by morning. There is very little pain in my legs to start the day.
3.       Speech: The difficulty in pronouncing some words is still visible, but Rick can see daily improvement. Swallowing is much easier, but still an issue. This was a very persistent symptom that required stim therapy and speech therapy off and on for the past three years. I no longer have to stick to a strict “slick” diet, but I still need to “think” about swallowing to avoid choking.
4.       Cognition: There has been a question in the minds of each of my doctors whether all or part of my cognitive problems could be attributed to a cardiac event that occurred a year before MS symptoms appeared. While in my doctor’s office on the exam table, I went into cardiac arrest. CPR was given and paramedics used a defibrillator to restart my heart twice on the way to the ER. Somewhere during the first several hours, I was without oxygen for longer than the maximum to prevent brain damage.  There has been no real way to know if the severe cognitive problems were only exacerbated by MS, or causative. At least until now. There was very little improvement the first day. By Tuesday morning, stuttering was remarkably better. I am still word fishing, stopping mid sentence, and losing my train of thought. However videos taken in the home are showing improvement every day. Long term memory was not remarkably affected by MS. Short term memory and instant recall was another story.
5.       Fatigue: Honestly, I am dog tired. It is after 11:00 PM and I have been awake since 7:30 am. Normally I would be unable to get into bed. There were many nights I would sit with my laptop and did not have the strength to get out of my seat. Waves of fatigue were a part of my everyday life, even during long periods of the remission of many other of my symptoms.
It is difficult to explain MS fatigue and I will not attempt to here. I have written about it many times on the forum. I have reduced the Adderall dosage for fatigue to [ 1 ]30 mg. tablet x 3 daily. This is a reduction of one tablet per day. I lowered it four days ago. My energy level even with the new dosage is considerably better than before the procedure.
6.       Smell: There has been a major change in my ability to smell everyday things. They are much more pungent and pleasant. This has also allowed me to taste foods I have not been able to eat for approximately two to three years. I believe I feel a difference in the textures of food. Meat has been an issue for a couple of years, because the texture, flavor and smell had become very disagreeable most of the time.  For the last six months my diet consisted of cheese, fruit, and graham crackers.
I     mentioned on my blog that I went a movie theater. I have avoided going as much as possible because the lights and sounds were unbearable to me. Last night was wonderful. I enjoyed the movie, even though it was a lame choice.
I will write about other changes in smaller bites. All in all, the progress has been far more than I ever anticipated.  

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