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.
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.
Has our faith in Western medicine completely faded? Although one would hope that treatments for Multiple Sclerosis are ever-improving, lately I have heard time and again that individuals with the disease have abandoned Western medicine altogether in favor of diet, exercise, and marijuana. One recent supplement fad for MS is Evening Primrose oil. I have personally chosen Gilenya for the time being, but I see no point in excluding natural and healthy treatments that apparently work so well for others. Cannabis use with MS has already been covered recently. While I intend to cover the evolving family of alternative therapies in future posts, right now we will focus how to treat Multiple Sclerosis with diet.
This week I am re-learning to ride my shiny new birthday bicycle 20+ years since I last had a bike and 3+ years after a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. You could say that I’ve grown a bit since I was 12. You could say I might’ve put on a lot of pounds. You could also say that according to the expertise of Wii Fit, the left side of my body compensates for the weakness on the right side of my body to the tune of 75%. You could say I have little to no balance.
My husband has been seriously biking for a few months and fell in love with it. Our city has a fantastic trail that follows an old train trail and connects to other towns. It’s well designed and mostly shaded. While the summer heat is likely to provide a wealth of challenges to me, I hope to learn to ride well enough to actually enjoy it when autumn arrives.
Every summer I am amazed at the heat. Ridiculous – right? I have a virtual 2 degree window of comfort (I’m so annoying). Cold temperatures are made bearable with cardigans and blankets. Warm weather, on the other hand, seems to melt my brain. Heat and Multiple Sclerosis work together like two villains in a comic book.
Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis are notorious for heat intolerance resulting in an endless variety of possible repercussions – this is known as Uhthoff’s phenomenon (or Syndrome). Summers may be beautiful, but they are also difficult for us.