A mediocre effort; but an effort nevertheless…

Mediocrity is not something that I strive for. But this week it has been a word that I have almost gladly used to describe the level of my symptoms… of an MS “episode”. It was definitely a mediocre effort at numbness… but it was still numbness, nevertheless…

So it began (if one could definitively pin-point where or when it began, that is) with a busy weekend of boyfriend’s birthday celebrations, an AFL Grand Final BBQ, a friend’s 60th birthday bash, and the finishing of an assignment (aye, there’s the rub). After a couple of beers on the Saturday afternoon at the BBQ and acceptance of my footy tipping prize for the second year running (see girl and “The Urn” in photo via link above), I noted that perhaps I was developing my mother’s trait for a numb nose after a bit of a tipple. When the same numb nose was noticed by me on Sunday after the 60th birthday bash, I commented to my man that perhaps my time for drinking on sunny afternoons was coming to an end…

It was only as I drove home from his place after a productive Sunday night of assignment writing that I had that moment of realisation: “Ding-dong! I know what this is… This is not just my nose being numb because of a bit of alcohol. My whole face and neck is numb… I feel like I have been to the dentist and the anesthetic hasn’t worn off!” Bugger, blast and expletives…

I have never completed an assignment with such focus before! One of my housemates observed me in this state of focus on Monday morning, but she wasn’t aware that it was due to the fact that I knew I had only a limited amount of time until my neurologist returned my phone call and asked me to come in to see him. (Fortunately, the work to be done on the assignment was just in terms of tidying up the references and formatting appropriately, and it was submitted without further ado.)

So I went down to Clayton to see my wonderful neurologist, Dr G… he squeezed me in between his other patients. Standard neurological and motor function checks, discussion of symptoms, and two options: 1) Let the episode run its course. It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better; or, 2) Take a three-day course of pulse methylprednisolone and end the episode sooner. Outcome is likely to be the same for either option. Not having the methylpred would not likely cause any greater long-term effects than having it. Some people like to avoid steroids if necessary, that’s why they’d choose not to have them. Some people have side effects of steroids and that’s why they’d choose to avoid them. I’ve had them twice before, and my feeling was that I’d like to just nip it in the bud and get back to normal life. Sure, I might go a bit “loopy” for a few days, but I preferred that over a 24-7 numb reminder of my MS for an unknown amount of time while I waited for it to ease off of its own accord. So, reacquainting myself with methylpred was the decision! And a fresh MRI scan as soon as an appointment becomes available… because my last brain photo was about 5 years ago.

Various things then fell into place over a 24-hour period… My lovely housemate reminded me of the ‘Hospital in the Home’ unit that she is employed by, and the conversation went something like “Der! Get transferred to [her hospital] for HITH treatment and I’ll do the infusions for you!” So on Wednesday morning, Miss L stuck a cannula in my arm and I received the first of the three methylpred infusions. For an explanation of steroid treatment, see Merely Me’s helpful discussion instead of me retyping it… in a basic sense, my brain was blasted with steroids (via intraveinous infusion, not oral treatment) to reduce the inflammation of the myelin and bring nerve function back to normal, i.e. make the numbness go away.

As I read Merely Me’s explanation myself, I am reminded that I should not currently be so hard on myself because it is understandable that I currently feel like a blob with no decisiveness or direction about how I want to spend my time as I try to rush myself to be back to “normal”… it is kinda okay to blame it on the sleep problems, anxiety and agitation that the ‘roids have left me with! I’m exhausted from this post now… I will try to post again soon about the mental processing and other thoughts that went through my head this week…

~ by pincushiondiary on October 5, 2008.

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