Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Living with MS

In 1991, at the age of 31 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At the time I suffered temporary paralysis and spent several weeks hospitalized. Since then I have had 5 major surgeries, all due to complications with this disease.

For the past 14 years I have been on several different drugs, most recently Interferon Beta 1a, which in 1999 I stopped taking and now have an injection once a year or so of a new drug, similar to the interferon. Most of the time I live my life day to day with little or no symptoms of the MS. But with the type of MS that I have; relapsing-remitting MS , my symptoms can come and go; be minor or can be a major problem. So far I have been blessed and have not had much problems until recently.

Over the last several months I have seen an increase of severe leg pain and cramping, increase of Acid Reflux (which can also be caused by MS), and blurred vision. Over the last few days the pain in my legs has been severe. Now I have a new symptom that I have not had before. A sharp electrical type shock sensation with buzzing while moving my head, which is called L'Hermittes. Most of my symptoms I just pass off as getting older. But this one is quite aggravating. I certain way I move my head and ZAP! I wonder if the Bionic Man had those types of sensations? After placing a call in to my doctor, at the Mayo Clinic, he assured me that these symptoms would dissipate and that no major damage was being done to my spinal cord or brain. Easy for him to say, he's not the one experiencing a cow prod going through his head.

I say all of this not to complain, or whine, but to express myself. I know that DJ gets tired of hearing me say that my legs hurt and no one else seems to understand this disease, mainly because they can not see it with their eye, until the disease has ravaged the body. For years doctors thought I was a hypochondriac, until a gifted Doctor suggested I be tested for MS.

So from time to time, if I fail to post, or I get on here and whine, it's just for me to express myself, while dealing with what I refer to as "my disease" I'm grateful that I have had little or no problems with this disease over the years and I am sure that this current barrage of symptoms will pass as well.

For those of you interested in MS or ways to help fight the disease there are many web sites and organizations working to find a cure. One that I have recently found is through Clay Walker, the country artist, Website. Clay who also suffers from the disease is working to raise money to help find a cure. Check out his website here to learn more.


Kim said...

Hi Michael - I just happened upon your site.. its always good to find other MS'ers blogging out there. Cheers.

Bigg said...

You have all of my best wishes. I know what it's like to live with an affliction that others don't understand.