One Balancing Act of Life
It’s been an interesting and long week filled with such blessings and yes trials. I am so grateful for that balance! Life, isn’t it?
Whether you have MS or not, most have heard about it, know someone with the disease or descriptives like lesion load, relapses, damaged myelin, drugs to slow the process, cure, disability, etc. Four disease courses have been identified in multiple sclerosis: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary-progressive MS (SPMS), primary-progressive MS (PPMS) and progressive-relapsing MS. (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS) Each course comes with varying disease activity and symptoms. You might find yourself experiencing significant trouble, a little or hardly at all. That’s the unpredictability and Many Surprises of MS.
As you probably know by now, I’m a huge proponent of being your own advocate. Research, investigate, ask questions and try all and any options you have available. Be proactive! Find what works for you and be committed to just that! I’m forever grateful I did. Despite my ugly MRI results early on (lots of lesion development), I was able to live my life the best I could and take care of my family! Priceless for me. My goal now is to stay one step ahead of my MS and prepared for what the Lord brings my way.
Last week I had MRIs performed – cervical spine and thoracic respectively. I am the crowned “Queen of MRIs” as I value the information and baselines they provide. Remember, MRIs don’t necessarily correspond to how you feel physically and are different with each patient. For me, I appreciate my neurologist explaining my current MRI results in comparison to previous studies. This isn’t necessarily an option for all patients but a good way for me to understand what I’m managing. I need that. Of course, right now I have formed my own conclusions (imagine that) but am anxious to speak with my neurologist to hear her impressions.
Meanwhile, PT was going full speed ahead for me. I was getting stronger and trying new tools to help with my hip flexor (or lack thereof) and drop foot. The hip flexor gadget is a new tool currently being investigated and is close to being rolled out following clinical studies. Thank goodness my PT gets my sense of humor while trying these new tools – “I believe I’m sporting everything you have to offer!” We laughed! My BalanceWear vest, the hip flexor deal – straps around your hip, travels down to the knee, more strapping, down to the foot, you guessed it, more strapping, finally, you’re ready to begin walking. I was doubtful that this get up would do much of anything but was shocked that it did pick up my knee allowing a natural swing through gait process. Success! This was added to my “to do” practice list.
Next, time to give the Elevate Brace for drop foot a try. Once again, as this brace was strapped around my ankle, little prongs connected to my sneaker, tightened, I really didn’t think I was going to be able to walk, have a normal “heel, toe” stride. It was so tight! Talk about uncomfortable! Once again, I was wrong! It was doing a great job. I was so happy I tried this simple and easy tool too!
This visit was truly a blessing. I just love my PT’s willingness to reach into her tool box to see what might help! I was so encouraged that I could be on the move again. One odd-looking duck to many, but you’d be surprised at how onlookers respond to a smile! I’m more than happy to provide daily entertainment! 🙂
And then the trial. With all the fun I was experiencing with trying these tools, my foot really thought otherwise. It prefers not to work properly. I ended up with a huge blister, right above my little toe, swelling (looks like an elephant foot) and currently progressed to infection and fever. Are you kidding me?!? I started antibiotics yesterday and as you probably guessed, the good ole recipe for RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). I’ll head back to PT in a couple of weeks when things settle down.
The balancing act of life, filled with blessings and trials, preparing me for His perfect timing and will for what’s next! Stay tuned!
“Count Your Blessings”