Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mellie's MS Flare up (episode)

"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word" 
~Psalm 119:28

Sunday morning when I woke up I had a strange feeling in my head.  Things seemed to be going in a slower motion than normally and my speech seemed to be slurred.  I tried to move around that day not having to use too many words.  I was careful to think about my words and really focus on what I needed to say in fear that my hubby might pick up on my struggles.  We went about our day and everything seemed okay.  The following two days continued on the same path, luckily my hubby was at work so this gave me the chance to be alone so no one could hear that my speech was for sure not correct.  

Wednesday morning I called my hubby and I couldn't hide it.  I tried to play it off that my head was just foggy from not enough sleep but I could tell he knew.  That night I confessed to him the events that started on Sunday and how I was trying to just work through it and I didn't want him to worry.

When I had my very first Flare up that lead me to being diagnosed with MS I had other symptoms that went along with slurring words.  There was a numbing in my face, I could not type to save my life and just an overall feeling in my body of slow moment.  When this occurred on Sunday it was not as bad so my comparison allowed me to disregard what was going on and put it out of my mind.  

I have to say, my hubby is the one person in all my life that when it comes to my health he has been there through thick and thin.  In all the years of being married, anything I have faced he has not only been there to support me but he has been there to spend countless hours researching what it is, could be, what I can expect and how I can beat it.  The man is a walking medical dictionary for his wife.  He makes little jokes about how he never went to Kaiser until we got married and now refers to it as Hotel Kaiser.   (Remember, we have had three kids and two miscarriages during our time together so it's not all sickness for me-smile) 

As not to be too overbearing he asked me to email my Neurologist to advise him what was going on.  I did that night.  The next day I was being told to come in for some tests and being asked a ton of questions.  Thursday morning I got the call from my neurologist's office.  I was instructed to return to Kaiser that day for another round of steroid treatments for the next three days.
Medications such as  Solu-Medrol and Decadron and are potent steroids that ease inflammation and are often used to treat an acute attack of multiple sclerosis.

During an acute attack of multiple sclerosis also called exacerbation, flare ups or relapses.  There is a distinct increase in the severity of symptoms. The onset of the attack may take several days or weeks. New symptoms may appear, or your existing symptoms (such as numbness, tingling, slurred speech, or blurred vision may flare up or worsen.

The case manager at my Neurologists office used this opportunity to remind me how important it was for my health to stay on top of these flare ups.  She reminded me that going days without seeking help was allowing the disease days to cause more damage to my brain and possible further lesions to grow.  She reminded me the medication I take with my daily injections does not take full affect for six months and so if I have these sort of flare ups, no matter how big or small they were, I needed to be seen.

For those looking in from the outside you are probably thinking this is pretty basic information and may be wondering why I wouldn't have let anyone know when this all started.  But for those who know me and who are getting to know me you may have a different understanding.

I don't want to be sick.  When I first blogged about having MS my mission statement was and is 
"I have MS but it does not have me."  

It is not easy on the heart and soul of someone who has this disease.  People look at you and say:
"Mellie you are strong you will beat this."  
"Mellie you are in such great shape this will be nothing."
"Mellie you workout 6 days a week you look just like you always have, don't give it a second thought."     
"Mellie you have had this disease for 6 + years and did not know about it, your life will not change, the hard part is over."

They are right, but they are also wrong.  Something changes inside a person when they know they have a disease.  Something changed in me.  It increased my ability and willingness to fight back.  It has changed the way I am learning to eat.  I think one day it will lead my life in a different path to help others with MS, in what way I have no idea.  But it also has changed that I have to be aware of these symptoms and tell someone when all I want to do it pretend they are not going on.  I don't want anyone to think I am being weak, I do not want anyone to think I am living in this non stop MS moment.  I do not want anyone to think that one little tingle or numbness I am going to freak out and think I am having an attack.  

I joined several MS pages and what I hear is how people are having this or that going on.  No matter how severe or not severe their symptoms are they are mostly negative, complaining, spouses are leaving them, friends telling them they don't look sick, they feel alone, lost and scared.  I do not want to be that person and I am afraid people might think I will become that person, so I keep things to myself.

However, after being mentally hand smacked by my case manager and then hearing my hubby talk to me at Kaiser yesterday I have came to the understanding I have to allow myself to be vulnerable if something is going on.

Going to bed last night my emotions began to rage.  Steroids have a way of making me do one of three things: cry, rage in anger or panic more than I normally do.  Last night it was rage.  I had a list of things in my head I was raging about, being bitter about.  So I tried to calm myself down and I just laid there in the darkness praying the Lord's prayer over and over until I finally fell asleep.

This morning I got up and I was reading all the posts and texts that I received from everyone while I was getting my first treatment.. they all mean so much to me.  Then I looked at the picture my hubby took of me laying there feeling sorry for myself in a lot of pain and I just said.... not today.

Today I am going to put on my big girl panties (they really are not that big-smile) and today I am going to go into Kaiser looking fabulous and I am going to own that nurse treatment center!  I may not feel 100% but I sure in the heck am going to look like I do.

I prayed with my two girlfriends this morning and I prayed for what they are going through medically and together... the three of us are going to be fabulous.  

Have a fabulous day today and remember to take good care of your bodies.. they are the only ones we have.

This is how I looked yesterday.....

This is how I am going to look today!  "Honey, when I walk into a treatment room I own it!"

I love to watch this when I need to put things into perspective.  :)  

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