Category Archives: Multiple Sclerosis

Stuff about MS, and therefore most likely me, too.

MRI: no change

Had another MRI the other week, as I’ve been having some problems with my legs. Thankfully, the MRI has shown that my brain is in exactly the same condition as in 2007, when it was (as far as I know) in exactly the same state as in 2005. This is good news; I may be reading too much in to this, but if things are not changing on the brain front after 4 years, then that is a hopeful sign that I’m not going to be totally disabled any time soon.

I’ll be continuing to cross my fingers, though. You never know what’s around the corner. I might get hit by a bus!

lisinopril – it’s like someone’s taking the piss

Y’know, that title would have been more comical if lisinopril had been a diuretic rather than an ACE inhibitor. It was close, since both are used to treat similar conditions (hypertension, for example), but alas, not quite. Hey ho. The real reason it’s taking the piss follows.

There appears to be some news that ACE inhibitors might help us humans with MS, since they have managed to get mice with a similar (but importantly, not exactly the same) condition to radically improve when given lisinopril. So that’s good, right?

Well, it would be, except I have low blood pressure, a low heart rate (both from being somewhat fit all my life) and I am hypoglycaemic. Taking an ACE inhibitor ain’t going to do too much for me. I already have enough balance problems as it is with those conditions, not to mention the MS kicking my balance in the nuts, but ACE inhibitors are only going to make things much, much worse.

Still, I could always just eat lots of bacon to make up for it. I like the idea. The wife, not so much.

Right calf muscle cramping

So my right calf muscle has been giving me a bit of grief for 2 days now, started on Thursday. At first I thought it was just because I’d done something to it, but it felt better on Friday morning. For about an hour, and then it came back again. Last night it was really quite uncomfortable and I wondered what would happen this morning after waking up. Same thing; it was OK for a short period, probably no more than half an hour, then it started to get sore again.

So I started to think about an hour ago as to what it could be. I figured it might be something MS related, so did a Google for that to see whether cramp, which is what it really feels like, could be an MS symptom. And of course, it could be.

I’m fully aware I’m having a relapse, it’s just a pain in the arse that I’m getting symptoms that I’ve not had before, that being the swallowing and now the cramp in my leg. Needless to say, a variety of my other symptoms are around too, not least the balance issues and I’ve had problems with my hands over the past few days too.

The hand problems didn’t last long

I posted back on 4-May that I was having a new symptom such that swallowing was causing me problems. I think that I am simply having a proper relapse, the first one for quite some number of months, as I am also having GERD problems and worsening balance issues. The swallowing issues resolved within about 3 days, but the others are still there. Unfortunately, my left hand has started to go downhill a bit, such that I’m losing feeling on the back of it. Usually it’s the palm of my hand that goes, but not this time.

Still, things could be worse. Much worse.

Be more positive

For some reason, I’m not at my most positive when looking in to the future on the health front. I’m not entirely sure why, although it might be something to do with home life being somewhat disruptive. We’re getting our house extended at vast cost where we are literally adding on half a house on to the side of our house, although some have commented that it could be argued that we are adding a house on to our house; it’s going to be a pretty big house when it’s done, it’s fair to say.

But I think the problem is that we have been reduced to 4 rooms (2 bedrooms, living room, bathroom) for the past few days because none of the new rooms are finished yet (although they should have been weeks ago) and we have had to clear out of 3 of our existing rooms (bedroom, kitchen, dining room) because they are being extended. It’s not a good environment to be living in, and it’s starting to cause a fair amount of stress, especially for our three year old who vaguely understands what is going on, but isn’t really feeling particularly secure.

I think that all of this is making things stressful which is making my perspective on life a bit odd. Work is also pissing me off too, but I’ll not go in to that, as it’s not really that interesting, other than to know I’m feeling reasonably undervalued.

So I’m hoping that the extension gets completed soon and life can return to how it was before.

Right hand. Slowly improving.

My right hand has been giving me problems for the past couple of weeks, as previously mentioned. Thankfully, it’s started to recover. I think it started yesterday and I hadn’t realised it, but today it’s definitely a little better again. While I can still feel that there is something wrong with it, it’s easing up as I can move it a little easier now, and it’s much less painful than before.

Of course, there’s no actual proof that this was an MS symptom, other than the fact that I didn’t appear to cause any kind of injury to the hand before it started to get sore. And of course there are no external marks on my hand and the pains and feelings I was getting were completely unrelated to giving it a whack against something. So maybe it was MS, but possibly not. It’s going away; I’ll not worry about it for now unless it comes back with bigger teeth.

Hands not too good right now

Hand issues as of 17-Dec-08My right hand is starting to get worse. Until about a week or so ago, I’d never had a problem with it.

From the image on the left (click it for a bigger version), you can see the problem areas of the hand. The inside of my hand is quite tender down the fingers (two of them at the moment) and round the palm. This has generally been the case on and off on my left hand over the past year or so.

The bigger problem right now is the back of my hand, in that three of my fingers are feeling very stiff and a little sore around the joint area. This started for no apparent reason a few days ago and has been getting a little worse each day.

The problem areas are marked in red in those pictures, in case you think those are really bad tattoos ;)

So I just need to see what happens. Or ask the neuro what I should do; which I’m not entirely sure I really want to do, because it doesn’t seem like a big enough problem to bother a neurologist about, to be honest.

Review of latest symptoms

Up until a couple of days ago, it had been a couple of months since I last made any MS-related posts on here. Those 2 months have been fairly standard, coping with the usual set of symptoms that have cropped up, but there have been 2 new ones that I hadn’t had before. I figure I’ll mention them here much for my own benefit in the future when attempting to remember when stuff happened, than anything else.

The first one was I had my first dead leg. At first I thought I had just hit it on something, but then realised that I hadn’t, and it lasted well over a day. I’ve had normal dead legs in the past and they don’t last much more than a few minutes in terms of the part of the leg being actually dead, and this one just lasted for ages. So that was a bit of a kick in the teeth, as that’s 2 things that I’ve had that, assuming they continue to get worse, will force me in to a wheelchair at some point in my life. The other one being my lack of balance, in case you’re not a regular reader.

The other was that I’ve had the old loss of sensation in my hand, but for the first time it’s been in my right hand. Started off over 4 fingers, then the next day down to 3, then yesterday down to 2 fingers, then today I don’t think it’s been there at all; or at least, if it has been, it’s been really minor.

Aside from that, I was asked by my Mother how I’d been of late, and she said that whenever people ask her how I’m getting on, she doesn’t really know what to say. This is mainly because I don’t talk about having MS much at all to pretty much anyone except the wife, and even then I don’t mention it that often. Aye, that means I talk the most about it on this blog, before you say anything. Anyway, she figures I just cope with what is thrown at me and just get on with it, which is pretty much how it is. It works for me; it might not work for you, but if you have been recently diagnosed with MS and you want to know the best way to deal with it, I do suggest you try just getting on with life. It’s not necessarily an easy thing to do all the time, but it keeps me sane at least.

Psychology and MS

Psychology and MS must be an interesting subject. I was speaking to an ex-work colleague the other day who I hadn’t seen since before I was diagnosed, and we were talking about how we’re not really that badly affected by MS (she has it too, and I didn’t know that before she left). However, we’re both affected by the psychological impact of knowing that we do have MS, and what the future might hold.

Clearly, no-one can tell someone who has MS what the future will be – and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m still absolutely convinced that knowing I have MS is for the best; if I didn’t know I had MS, I would be really worried about all the various small-ish things that keep going wrong with me. However, I’m not really that badly affected in my opinion (that said, I know people who are in a better position than I am who think they’re hard done by) and therefore the psychological impact of knowing I have MS is by far the biggest “disability” that I have.