"Up until about a year ago I was doing very well on Tysabri, and it seemed like my relentless wave of relapses were finally in check. However, eventually my MS started to rear its ugly head again. It started with an episode of facial numbness and optic neuritis, followed by leg weakness a couple of months later. After an MRI confirmed that I had new spinal cord lesions, my neurologist and I decided it was indeed time to move on to the next DMT, and we were hopeful that Ocrevu
"Sleep is a surprisingly complex process that is essential to maintaining health and wellness. Unfortunately, problems with sleep quantity and quality and the negative impact of poor sleep on daily functioning are particularly common among people with MS, affecting 50% of the population.1 Sleep disturbance may arise for a number of reasons, including MS disease activity. For example, sleep can be affected when MS lesions occur in areas of the brain that are responsible for go
"Following the diagnosis of MS and during periods of change in your MS, it is not unusual to feel your personal GPS becoming "out of whack" and not working as well as it had in the past - or not as well as you were hoping it would. This is true whether you are the person with MS or someone who cares about you. You may feel lost, without direction, and overwhelmed with multiple choices and decisions. You may feel that little is under your control. On the other hand, MS often b
"Living with MS, or any chronic illness, brings it’s fair share of emotional challenges. We are all familiar with the emotional roller coaster that follows the initial diagnosis or even a setback. Those of us living with MS and our loved ones have to take a crash course in dealing with the unexpected. Being able to cope with change is a necessary tool for survival, but for some of us it’s extremely difficult to do. It’s perfectly normal to go through a period of grieving, and
"When I need to de-stress or take sometime to myself I head outdoors. Nature is my sanctuary, and a little fresh air has a way of putting all the stress of life into perspective. Recently I found myself at a peaceful little spot along the James River watching two geese swimming with their little goslings. They were gliding effortlessly along the water, making it easy to forget that beneath the surface their feet were constantly kicking and fighting against the river’s current
As I have mentioned in other blog posts, MRIs are extremely important in the diagnosis and management of MS. But for many patients they are pretty unpleasant tests to go through, and we have to go through them often. I for one have gone from being able to fall asleep in MRI machines, to completely dreading them. However, since my diagnosis I seem to have at least one every few months so I have been forced to work on some strategies to help me get through them. It also helps
My last post about relapses and remissions got me thinking about when I was newly diagnosed MS. I was always nervous, like there was a monster riding around on my shoulder and I never knew when he was going to attack me. Relapses are unpredictable, which didn’t exactly jive with my type-A-plan-everything-ahead-of-time personality. I decided that even if there wasn’t anything I could do to control whether my relapses occurred at the time that was most convenient for me, then a
Check out the newest installment in the Multiple Sclerosis 101 series! This time I discuss what a relapse is, how to tell the difference between a relapse and a pseudo-relapse, and treatment options. The Multiple Sclerosis 101 series is designed to break down all the major concepts that are involved in MS. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a better understanding of MS wether you are newly diagnosed, have been living with it for decades, or know somebody else who is living wit
The MS HOPE Foundation and I put together a comprehensive glossary of terms that all MSers can use to decipher all of the confusing medical jargon that gets thrown at us. It includes everything from basic medical definitions regarding the immune system and neurology, to specific descriptions/definitions of symptoms, tests, and treatments. We hope it helps you out! Read the full list of terms here, and let us know if there is anything you would like us to add!
I’m so sore this week, I feel like all of my muscles are tight rubber bands! During times like this I bring out my personal arsenal for sore, spastic muscles: heated chair massager, foam roller, hook massager, and Mission Muscle Rehab Gel. Bring it MS!