White spots!

White spots!

It's Half Term and I love it!  Spending time with the kids making things, playing silly games and generally making a big ass mess to tidy up.

This Half Term is proving to be quite a challenge though.  I have an essay for my Open University course to complete by midnight Thursday which is always a last minute stress.  But I had a suspicion but it's been confirmed by my MS nurse that I am relapsing too!

The problem with relapses is that no two are the same!  So in previous episodes I have had numbness and tingling in one arm, another half of my head went completely numb, my legs have gone very weak and made walking a struggle, my arms have gone weak and I cannot make a cup of tea WHICH IS A DISASTER!!!  

This one started over a week ago with quite bad cramp like pain around my abdomen so I initially though oh here we go with another stomach bug but it never arrived.  That is when I realised that it was the dreaded MS HUG.  Strange name as I always thought of a hug as comforting but this one REALLY isn't, It hurts!  It slowly developed into the classic circle of pain around my body.  As the days went on the pains I get in my hands and legs got worse and worse and my usual dose of pain relief wasn't keeping it under control.  A new symptom for me is feling nauseated a lot.  But I have been ensuring I eat and drink though.  My fatigue levels have increased as people at work will testify I'm sure.  Then the final straw was pins and needles in my hands and feet and my legs feeling weak.  Cue a trip to GP to check that I didn't  have a urine infection.

Infections can flare up MS symptoms and give the impression of a relapse so I had to rule that out.  Deep down I think I was hoping it was so I could have a course of antibiotics and all would get better over the next week.  So when I was told it was all clear I had a sudden dip in my stomach.  This meant that it was probably a relapse after all.  A relapse means a couse of very strong steroids and a long wait with an uncertain end as to when things will get better.  Although I hate admitting it but any one of these symptoms may not get better at all, but I will always fight to try and get as much recovery as possible!

After a chat with my MS Nurse she confims my thoughts that I am probably relapsing.  I must admit to being quite devastated as on Friday it will be my 2nd Anniversary of being on Tysabri which has been a complete godsend to me and not only have I felt better on it but I haven't had a full relapse since I started.  Before I was having a big relapse at least once a year.  Now I am trying to get steroids to treat the relapse.

Steroids will hopefully shorten the length of the relapse and promote a better recovery.  But as I am in London on Friday for my treatment it has been decided that I will get assessed there and if needed I will get my steroids at the same time as my Tysabri.  Keeping my fingers crossed as this is really hurting and making me too tired.

So why have I chosen the picture of an MRI and no it isn't my own.  My brain is much prettier and my Mum will vouch for that!  This is one of the ways MS is diagnosed by the white spots or lesions.  These lesions show areas of damaged myelin.  This is the equivalent of the plastic coating on electrical wires.  When this is stripped it causes a short circuit much like MS.  So I think I am currently growing my own new white spot or Naughty Goblin house (my explanation to my children but that's a whole new post)  I like to think that I am making my own unique patchwork brain!  See I told you it was pretty! 

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