There is no single test to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis – it is a clinical diagnosis, meaning that the diagnosis comes about as a result of multiple tests and symptom analysis. When I was diagnosed an MRI, a lumbar puncture, and paralysis in my right arm and on the right side of my face were all taken into account. Although it took years to get to this point, you could say that I was fortunate to have such a clear case – many individuals have a very difficult time receiving a diagnosis while others may be incorrectly diagnosed with MS. The lumbar puncture, or a crude version of it, was developed in 1889 to relieve intracranial pressure for tuberculous meningitis. It has been somewhat refined over the years as many different uses for it were discovered, but the basics remain the same.
My one year anniversary of taking Gilenya occurred in May, but my first MRI results and latest blood test since beginning treatment occurred only recently. Multiple Sclerosis can be a very unpredictable disease, but prior to treatment with Gilenya I averaged 2 – 3 relapses per year. My neurologists have told met hat the average gap between relapses is 18 months which I have never achieved. However, I am getting closer every day as this is the longest relapse-free period I have ever had since diagnosis. My Gilenya test results during my last office visit were overwhelmingly positive.
If your life is like mine, Multiple Sclerosis has the potential to occupy most of your thoughts during the day. Maybe your symptoms require near-constant attention. Or perhaps, like me, you experience constant nerve pain. I bet you’re irritable. I bet sometimes you wish those around you could feel what you feel so that they could truly understand. I bet that you’re often sad. I bet that you’re driving the world away from you. Multiple Sclerosis and relationships don’t always go well together. I’m writing today about grace, kindness, and regret.
It was 400 BC Greece and Hippocrates treated his mental patients with music. Modern music therapy has existed since 1944 in the United States. In all parts of our world, and at all times, music has been a cherished and important part of life. Music brings people together in celebrations, and we celebrate music itself. Think of the first dance at a wedding, rites of passage such as proms, Christmas carols, rock anthems, gospel songs. One way we connect deeply with the society in which we live and with those around us is with music. How much of our childhoods are wrapped up in songs and lullabies? Welcome to the possibility of music as Multiple Sclerosis therapy.
Every step that science takes toward a cure for Multiple Sclerosis is a step in the right direction. Here are some of the latest findings in the realms of MS research.
Information is developed and spread so quickly now. When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few years ago, patients were advised to avoid exercise as it could bring on worsened symptoms or new attacks. Now we know that this is mostly a fallacy. An active lifestyle for a person with MS means lessened disease activity in the long term and improved fatigue, strength, flexibility, mobility, cardiovascular fitness, bladder function, and bowel function. Those are some very attractive incentives!
Sooner or later it will happen – you’re going to have a bad day and you’re going to feel completely screwed. It’s happened to me a few times over the years and it usually involves a car. My husband and I share one car and this usually works out well for us. Then there are the peak vacation times when I discover at the grocery store that the new car battery is defective and have to call a tow truck (and front the cash) call a taxi (with cash on hand) find the one car left in town that has not been rented out and take a $48 ride to pick it up. In 97 degree heat. It was this particular occasion as the stress and heat ganged up on my MS that I realized I needed to prepare better. We must be prepared for Multiple Sclerosis emergencies.