December 4, 2006

MS-iness

I haven't written in so long that I actually forgot my username - never a good sign.

The truth is, though, that I've struggled to see the positive aspects of things lately. I write to feel better about stuff - to write myself out of a funk. Lately, though, whenever I pick up a pen (or sit down at the keyboard) I write myself into the exact same place that I started: a little too deep below the surface to see the flowers or the fertilizer around me. This place is dirty and dark, and whenever I climb a little closer to the top, an unforseen swine takes a dump on my head.

I saw my neurologist last week. He confirmed what I already know: things aren't going the way we planned. So I got an MRI to see if there were new lesions on my brain or c-spine (whatever the hell that is), and there aren't. That sounds good, right? - no lesions = no new symptoms. Or so I thought. But the truth is that there are new symptoms. And while I manage to pinpoint an immediate catalyst to blame for every new physical malfunction, the catalyst ends and the deterioration doesn't. I've lost a little coordination in my left hand now (previously my only symptom-free limb), and my right foot and calf have started to go completely numb whenever I swim. Last week I tried to cook while in my wheelchair (I managed to burn pasta), and tried to vacuum on my knees (equally ineffective). Curious as to why I have these new problems and no new lesions, I emailed my doctor a hastily written diatribe of my confusion.

This morning he wrote me back:

Kate - MRIs are only sensitive to inflammation as occurs typically in relapsing MS, I believe that your worsening without change on MRI points towards axon damage from chronic demyelination as is seen in secondary progressive MS.

I guess I knew that already. Lord knows it's been a good seven years since my last "remission", but somehow seeing the words secondary progressive written stung a little more than I thought they would. I rested my chin on my hand and stared at the words on my laptop until my 2nd period students began to trickle in. Then I swallowed the lump and all the other things that threatened to come out of me, and taught for the rest of the day (with a little less patience than usual).

I finally weaned myself off the overly-numbing antidepressant last week.

My timing sucks.

No comments:

Post a Comment