Multiple Sclerosis, a relapse and recovery 

Originally published in Sept 2014,

Things started getting a bit uncomfortable about 2 weeks ago. I should have clued in that something was up when I found myself having to urgently pee every couple of hours but I preferred to stay in denial that anything was wrong. As the days progressed symptoms did as well. Sensation to the bottoms of my feet wee becoming numb. I couldn’t feel the ground and that lack of sensation meant that my balance was uncertain. I had to be mindful as to where and how I placed my feet upon the earth, especially if the ground was uneven.

I didn’t slow down in my work life and my stress level was definitely high. As the week progressed weakness did as well. First, my ankles became wooden in their movement then my knees began to buckle as I walked. Any distance over 50 meters was staggering. I stayed in denial and figured a day of rest would see me right and continued to take my supplements and essential oils.

On Sunday I reached a point that I couldn’t deny anymore. My walking became spastic. I looked like I was palsied and I needed to hang onto someone or something to stay upright. A walk of 50 meters was pretty much my maximum before stopping to rest.

My friend urged me to go to the ER and not being able to deny what was happening I agreed that a hospital visit was undoubtedly the best course of action. It was my first time being admitted as a patient.

A series of test including a CT scan and a contrast MRI showed inflammation and demyelination in my spinal column indicative of MS.

The area of demyelination was causing everything downstream on my spinal cord to act up. Not only were my legs wonky my left hand and arm were losing function as well.

The highlight for me was meeting a new neurologist who was fascinated by how well I had done over my 20 year history of living with MS. I was diagnosed with a progressive aggressive form in 1998 and told that I would be in a wheel chair by the end of the year and that I would never walk again. That was 16 years ago and I have never been in a wheelchair. In fact, I have travelled extensively and hiked with wild abandon.

This is rather uncommon in the world of MS. I had plotted my own course of recovery after a lot of research. For me, it was pretty gratifying to have a neurologist acknowledge that my self-treatment was something that had her curious.

After a lot of discussions, my new neurologist and I agreed on a course of action. I would use my normal course for recovery; diet, supplements, acupuncture, emotional work, de-stressing and essential oils. If my approach didn’t work then I would take the suggested 12000 mg of IV prednisone. She, the neurologist, had me lined up for another MRI in 3 months.

I’ll blog my progress over the next 3 months for those of you also living with MS with the hope of inspiring you in alternatives.

A little background on this particular flair up. I had a fall while mountain biking about 7 weeks ago. It was, for me, an incredibly traumatic event. It was emotionally far more impactful than any other misadventure I’ve had. If you know me you’ll know that I’ve lived through some pretty high adventure from backpacking in the wilderness, falling down cliffs and sailing half way around the world. From all of the accidents I’ve had this was the first one that actually left me in shock.

This accident turns out plays a role in this flair up weeks later. It's not uncommon for those with a neurological disease to have a flair up after a trauma. This trauma for me was more emotional than physical. That’s a clue for me that I’ll need to do a lot of emotional work for this recovery.

Update

I had 4 Aromatouch Techniques given to me by friends over the week following my discharge from the hospital. an Aromatouch Technique involves the layering of 8 different oils on my back and feet. I also increased my daily supplements. 

By the end of 2 weeks, I was able to walk 13 kilometres over the course of the day.

After 3 months of continuing with daily essential oil use, an extensive supplement routine, good nutrition and exercise I returned for my follow up MRI. The results confirmed what I felt. My spine was completely clear. I no longer had any demyelination showing in my spine.

Another 3 years have since passed and I continue to be faithful to my supplements. So far so good. There is no relapse and I continue to walk, cycle and do regular yoga. 

 

 

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