"Pride goes before the Fall." That should be my motto. I should have known I was heading downhill because I was increasingly depressed. Depression for me means that I have a health problem. Today, Saturday February 22, the depression has lifted, which means I'm on the mend even though I'm still very fragile and won't be stepping outside for awhile. I'm even able to sit down and write this post.
After my last entry posted January 30 I felt under pressure to write the CCSVI Research sequel to the Drug/MRI Fallacy post of January 5.. It is apparently the custom to update a blog at least every 2 weeks, and today's entry comes 10 days late. For some reason I have felt unable to tackle the CCSVI research subject which présents itself as an unsurmountable obstacle. As it turns out, reports on the most recent updates on CCSVI studies discussed at the February 7-9, 2014 ISNVD (International Society of Neurovascular Disease) conference just came available. Sometimes there are reasons behind unexplained delays. With the most recent information now available, maybe I CAN meet the next two week deadline.
Here find a study of the recent setback to see how I handled it.
January 24 dental appointment. X-Rays which I usually avoid since even the smallest dosage weakens me. I took the homeopathic remedies 3 pellets of Rayon X 12 CH and Gelsenium 12 CH for several days afterwards. (I'm convinced the dental work of the previous year left me open to illness. I forgot then to take the Rayon X and was really weakened after the X rays.) Obviously the dentist wants to do the best work according to his specialty, but if I have a choice between walking and my teeth, I choose walking. So I allow as few X rays as possible and usually refuse anasthesia. Interestingly, since 1986 when the mercury (almagam) fillings were removed, I've had virtually no dental work other than replacing composite fillings which had fallen out. But 2 gold crowns installed in the mid 70's had developed holes and needed to be replaced. I'm convicinced the Standard Process suppléments I've been chewing on since 1984 have kept my teeth and gums healthy. Up until 1984 my teeth were in need of repair on a regular basis and I had needed 8 crowns. Since 1986, nearly 30 years, not a single new crown, minimal decay. One positive out of the MS negative.
On February 4 and 11 more dental work. The Dentist drilled deep into a tooth which had decayed under a third crown leaving me traumatized after the February 4 appointment so I checked out homeopathic remedies to help me through the next appointment on the 11th. (In the Dentist's Chair by Phil Wander).Arnica for shock and trauma, Hypericum for nerve injury, root canal, Chamomilla to detox from the anasthesia (which for the first time in 30 years I consented to.) The Arnica REALLY helped, the pain disappeared within the day.
The night of February 11 - 12 I had a creepy dream. I was lying in bed and a mass of insects began to engulf my body. I found it odd that they stuck with me and didn't invade the bed or contaminate my husband. I was even more surprised when, instead of proliferating, they began to disappear, leaving just a few white flakes. I found the image disturbing until I realized what these "insectts" symbolized. They were flat and white, they were "plaques" as in "Sclerose en plaque" or MS in France. This implies that the "plaques" are disappearing, a very positive eventuality. Could this be true?
Friday Feb 14 my physical therapist agreed with me that I should be able to walk better. My right leg is handicapped, the quadriceps muscles are strong, the back of the thigh muscles are weak (these should bend and help lift the leg), my hip muscles need development and the worst is the "drop foot". I can't voluntarily lift the leg. But last summer while climbing the pool ladder, I couldn't swing the right leg to put it on the step, and suddenly I bent and lifted the leg as naturally as possible. I can't consciously climb a stair with the right leg, but the action appears to still be present in my brain. How do I re-engage it and get it working? When did I let it go? I have become accustomed to walk with a stiff right leg which I throw out and forward, rather than bend.
And when did I lose the right "drop foot"? I remember in 2002 I could "point" and bend my right foot and work the ankle (which I had sprained, so I kept it working.) Spring 2007 I spent 9 weeks in the hospital after the left arm bone was re-attached to the shoulder with 2 screws following an accident. (Blois, France, the treatment was superb. After 2 weeks in trauma, I spent 7 weeks in physical therapy to entirely recover use of the left arm - thank goodness since the right arm is now almost useless. Almost immediately after surgery, though in pain, they had me extend the injured arm open so as to maintain strength in the triceps and prevent spasms in the inner arm. Exactly what I should have done and didn't after breaking the right shoulder. No one suggested I do that. I have to think for myself.) However, one mistake was made in 2007. The hospital fashioned a rigid brace to support my right foot and prevent foot drop so that I could walk lifting and bending my leg. I wore this during waking hours for nearly 8 weeks, and wondered why I could hardly walk going to the bathroom at night when the apparatus was removed. It's obvious. Whatever strength I had in the right foot ankle/releveur muscles was lost over the 9 weeks in the hospital.
LESSON: If something is done to compensate a handicap, every effort should be made nonetheless to maintain function in the concerned body part.
Back to the present. Sunday February 16 I enjoyed a visit to the Louvre with a friend after which we walked some distance and took the subway (which I now don't take if alone.) That outing was in itself exhausting. Monday February 17 I walked to the physical therapists office for my exercises. The afternoon I walked about 400 meters to the Dentist's office where I was traumatized by drilling deep into the tooth. I consented to anasthesia because the pain was too intense. And then I walked another 400 meters home. That evening a minor emotional shock probably stressed me further. I should have stayed home - even in bed - on Tuesday. But I went out with my husband to a movie and we walked a very long distance. My legs were shaky, even my coordination was off. So by Wednesday February 19 I was in full crisis. I canceled everything and stayed in bed. Thursday too. Real MS exhaustion I haven't known for years. The ankle of my good left leg weakened, it has been a concern for me. I dare not finish with a second drop foot. In fact when stressed I have symptoms in the functioning left calf and foot. Friday February 21 I walked to the physical therapists office using a 4 wheeled caddy to brace myself (as always). My legs were shaky and the coordination weak. I asked for a massage thinking this would release body tension and CNS "fluid" flow. It did. I was stronger on the return walk. Not too strong, I immediately went to bed. Saturday I began to write this entry, feeling much better, though not well enough to go out. And then today Sunday February 23 I went out with my caddy to walk about 400 meters during 30 minutes. Still somewhat shaky, but on the mend.
This coming week I will gradually build up my strength. Up to now I have forced myself to walk at least 30 minutes every day to keep the legs going, up to 800 meters. It may be awhile before I can go that distance. If you think about it 5 days of crisis isn't too bad, but some nerve damage may have occurred. I really need to rest a day after every outing. And rest a day after my next dental appointment which my husband just announced is tomorrow. (It's a bit too early for that. Apparently all the Dentist will do is take the crown imprints. And I will ask my husband to accompany me. Although if I'm not really strong enough I won't go. First things first. The Dentist gave my Wednesday appointment to my husband.)
I have started to stimulate Bladder 40 behind the knee with my TENS apparatus during my daily morning treatment..If the electricity is too strong the calf muscle cramps which causes the knee to bend and the releveur muscle to work. I'm thinking I can re-activate the part of the brain which controls this movement on the right leg.
Coda: Monday February 24 I walked to visit the physical therapist who massaged my back (I refused all effort), and then later my husband accompanied me to visit the Dentist. My left ankle is weak, my left leg in general has weakened as well as both quadriceps muscles. I can't believe I injured myself just to go to a movie (well yes, it was a promise). In future I must absolutely avoid major "excursions" on consecutive days.
Postscript. This setback lasted two weeks. I've entirely recovered. I think it was the Dental X-Ray that triggered it off. It is said X-rays shatter the electro-magnetic field. Whatever, I feel a total resistance to being X rayed again any time soon.
Tags: Multiple Sclerosis, MS, Setback, Relapse, Self help, Dental Homeopathy