Wednesday, 21 March 2012

progress, however slow

It's now 14 months since my last (let's hope!) relapse. This means, according to my MS nurse, that I've got another 4 months to heal my tattered myelin sheaths. Any symptoms lingering after that are thought to be permanent, so I thought I'd give a progress report...

My feet are still fairly numb/hypersensitive most of the time, and buzzy, heavy and even more numb when I'm tired. My legs range from almost symptom free (on a good start to a really bouncy day), to feeling like they are two lumps of wood on a not-so-bouncy day. My feet are still ridiculously temperature sensitive. Walking barefoot across our flagstone subterranean kitchen floor has me in agony, and when my feet get hot they feel like sausages that are so hot and swollen they burst (this has not happened to my feet yet!). My shoulders/arms get very achey It even hurts to type on my laptop sometimes (which is a bit of a bugger when you're a note taker!)
I have fatigue issues all the time - I am, by nature, a bit of a grafter physically - if a job needs doing, throw yourself into it. I'm having to find strategies to continue doing what I do with gusto - sometimes the gusto needs breaking up into manageable chunks. I invariably overdo it though, keeping on 'til I can barely walk away at the end! And if I push myself to this point it takes a while to bounce back (sometimes I am still paying the next day). Food and sleep are my friends!

I really can't say about my cognitive health. I've always been clumsy and absent-minded, it's part of my charm(!), but then I've had MS (unknowingly) for most of my adult life, so it's fairly tricky to know how much I can blame my MS! I think it has presented a little extra fog in my head though. I'm sure my organisational skills were slightly sharper than they are now...and as for mood swings, MS may cause mood swings and bouts of depression, but then so does oestrogen...and life! So it's another tricky call as for what to blame!

So that's my symptoms as they stand right now. I'm not expecting miracles in the next 4 months. I am comfortable with where I am with my body. For all the ways my MS has challenged me, the positive gains that I have fought for outweigh them all. I'm slimmer and fitter, with a much improved diet for me and my family. I've changed as a person I think too. Not radically, I'm still very much me, but I feel like I've re-jigged some of my priorities. I'm probably less patient, in a way..I wan't to do the things I want to do NOW! Even though I'm doing my level best to stay well, I have had an important lesson in not putting thing off for another day. I don't take tomorrow for granted so much now. I also have had to become more judicious about the amount I CAN do in my day! My cup has been downgraded to a thimble...but you can still fill a swimming pool with it if you're patient!


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