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Archive for October, 2011

Last year’s spooky Halloween theme was my zombie left side of my body that didn’t seem to be responding to my brain signals. This year things are considerably less scary.

It was late October last year when I started to notice things weren’t working properly on the left side of my body. I couldn’t quite hold a pencil and my gait was irregular. At that time I was wishing for it to just go away, while also feeling apprehensive about what might be going on. I couldn’t have imagined what was in store for me, starting with a day in the ER in Utica, NY on November 1 and continuing through the end of January and beyond.

Today, one year later, I feel stronger and more resilient than I ever thought I could feel. Really, I didn’t know I had it in me and would have preferred not to be tested at all. But somehow I powered through and am still fighting.

Recovery

Overall, I’d say my range of functionality on strong days vs. recovery days has more or less stabilized. That’s not to say I’m not improving, but it has definitely slowed. I still have a long list of “shoulds” related to physical therapy: home exercises, weights and Pilates at the gym, pool exercises and laps, going for walks, PT at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and Mapleton Center. And my professional support team is still in place: two PT’s tracking my progress, a Pilates coach, a massage therapist, and a psychologist, not to mention all my non-degreed support crew (like anyone reading this).

I’m getting used to the idea that what I used to call “bad days” are really recovery days. When I’m feeling weak it’s because I did a lot of activity the day before. For example, last Friday I went to the gym to bike and lift weights, then went to Pilates at Sports Medicine, then went out in the afternoon for a hair appointment and shopping. Two months ago I couldn’t have done all of that in one day. So when I was tired on Saturday, I didn’t feel so bad.

Work

In related news, I feel strong enough to go back to working full-time. I quit the job I’ve had for the past four years and am excited to start with a new company on November 8. I’ll be doing the same type of work, developing online training. I’ll go to the local office occasionally but will do a lot of work from home. Having the energy and optimism to apply for and secure a new job is very exciting.

I also ventured into the world of trauma therapy to help me process all I’ve been through. Any time I mention EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to people around here, most have heard of it and know others who have used it successfully. I had my first full session last weekend. It was super intense but I feel like I tapped into some deep rooted stuff.

Celebration

Tomorrow I’ll go for another MRI in the morning and meet with Dr. Corboy in the afternoon to get the results. It has been six months since my last scan. I’m optimistic the results will show a smaller lesion and no new activity. After that, we’re taking off to Cancun for a long-overdue vacation. (While we have had nights away from home in the past year, everyone agrees that our December trip to Mayo clinic in Rochester, my overnights in the hospital in November and January, and Chris’s business trips do not count in the vacation category.)

Last year Chris’s birthday wish was something along the lines of “let it be just MS and not cancer.” This year we are acutely aware of all we have to appreciate and celebrate in our lives and are thankful the diagnosis is just Balo’s Concentric Sclerosis with a good chance for full recovery.

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