Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Oh no not again

So things were pretty good, Hubby and I were planing our summer holiday, a weeks camping in Wales with the dog.  Not everyones  idea of a nice holiday but it's the sort of thing we love . A few weeks before the holiday (that would take us to the middle of May 2010) I kept feeling like I was tripping over my words. I mentioned it to my friend at work and she said she hadn't noticed anything.  I though it was me being paranoid so tried to put it to the back of my head. About a week or so later I started to have a few problems with my walking. I would go off balance at times and would have to stop walking because my legs wouldn't work properly.  It also became apparent that my speech was definitely playing up which was the thing I feared most out of the symptoms I had experience so far. It's hard to describe (like most symptoms of MS), I would have moments where I was unable to get my words out and all I could manged was to say "hmmmm".  For this reason when they happened I would say once I felt ok, "just having a moment".  This was not good and was not a symptom I wanted to be experiencing again. The speech thing wasn't happening too frequently but if I got stressed or anxious it played up more. Somehow I manged to work, god only knows how since one of the main parts of my job involves talking to patients but when it happened I would just pretend I was looking at something on the patients records on the computer and then I'd start speaking again.

As I say somehow I managed to work but I was getting so stressed and anxious about it  (unbeknown to my colleagues) that I'm sure the stress was making it all worse. This went on for about 2 weeks. In hind sight I shouldn't have worked at the time, it really wan't helping matters.  Somehow I managed to cope. I got away with it with some patients without them noticing my "moments" but some of my patients who I would see regularly for things such as their Diabetic care the consultations involved a lot more interaction so I would explain the situation to them which would take the pressure off me. I didn't mind telling some of my patients about the MS as these were the ones I knew really well. They were all really good about it. One of them made me laugh bless him. I don't think he really knew much about MS and after I told him the next time he saw me he asked "Oh how's your M and S".

It got to the point when I thought enough was enough and I should call in sick but but rather stupidly I didn't.  At this stage I only had two days left then I would  be on holiday so I just dragged myself through the rest of the week and with great relief went on my camping expedition. Now this wasn't going to be your average camping holiday. We were planning to stay in hammocks with just a tarp shelter covering us. We did consider should we still go as my balance really wasn't too good and I kept having to stop every few minutes when walking to get myself together but we had been looking forward to this trip for so long we refused to let the MS get in the way of our fun.  So off into the wilderness we went, Pete, Spike and I. We arrived at Lone Wolfe Camp Site (fantastic camping if you want to get back to basics, I will be adding to my blog about some of camping adventures soon I hope). We didn't or should I say I didn't get off to a good start.  After parking up we put our rather large rucksacks on our backs and slowly, slowly we trundled down to the the woods where we wood be camping. At one point we had to step down on to an area of lower ground, Pete went first and went to put down the stuff that he was carrying, just before I went to step down very inconveniently I had a moment, Pete looked up and could see what was about to happen and shouted for me to stop but for some reason I just kept going and fell forward. Doh! Why oh why didn't I stop!  Thankfully Pete got to me just in time to grab my rucksack and as I fell and  he twisted me round so I landed on my back. I thank my lucky stars for Pete and my rucksack, if it wasn't for them I would of gone face first and and it would of been a pretty nasty fall.  Thankfully that was the only mishap and we went on to have a fabulous and rather energetic holiday.  Who cares I couldn't get my balance at times, lets go climbing up rather steep hills to see some beautiful waterfalls, I told you before MS, I will not be defeated! Over the week my symptoms did improve a little, I think the fact that I wasn't half as stressed helped a lot.

The day after my fall I'd called my Dad and asked him to call my Neurologists secretary and see if I could get an appointment.  I was really impressed to get one arranged for the Monday after we got back.  So when we got back we tootled off to see the Neurologist who confirmed a relapse.  This time I was given a two week course of steroids and on my request was referred to the  MS nurse.Well I tell you what my first experience of steroids was great, I was given oral Prednisolone.  They tasted disgusting but after the second day of taking them I felt fantastic, I had extra energy and just had so much more oomph so to speak.  I even managed to mow our garden (something I never do as its quite sloped and a big effort). Over the next couple of weeks things improved greatly and I was soon back to as normal as I ever was.  Whether this was the steroids or the  way the relapse would have played out any how, who knows. The main thing was I was feeling better.

I got to see the MS nurse about a month or so later. This turned out to be one of the best things for me and ever since I have had more to do with her then any of the Doctors   She has given me fantastic support and whenever I have a concern she is happy for me to call her up to discuss.  It has been particularly helpful talking to her about issues such as having a baby.

So that's the next instalment of my MS saga, relapse two had been and gone and I had slept for the first time in a hammock and survived.  Sorry about the long posts, just setting the scene and giving you a bit of a background of how things have been up until now.


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