The Calm After The Storm
A year ago I went through a very trying time.
I was faced with coming off of old medications, starting new medications, retiring from careers and exploring new avenues. Basically, my entire life flip-flopped and I had to find comfort in adapting constantly.
Here we are over a year after I began the new medication, Gilenya. So far, so good! After about 6 months on the anti-epileptic medication (Carbamazepine), I realized that it was also helping to stabilize my mood and made me happier. It helped to reduce the tremor in my previously-paralyzed right arm, so, I even had the dose increased to 200mg twice/daily. It is not like me to ask for MORE medication!
Since starting Gilenya and Carbamazepine, and going back on daily Cannabis Oil doses (which I did as soon as possible after starting to have seizures), I feel like I have only been improving again.
...and guess what?
My latest MRI confirms it! It identified that there are only 4 lesions present, none of which are new, and only 2 of which are enhancing on MRI (showing inflammation). This is certainly better than 4 enhancing!
What this means is I essentially was able to stop the worsening of my disease process, get the inflammation under control, and am now at the point of recovery. Myelin is rebuilding and so am I!
Multiple Sclerosis has taught me so much about balance in life. I have learned very clearly that YES I have MS and YES the symptoms will come and go, but YES I can and WILL recover, time and time again.
I didn't talk a lot about just how bad the episodes were in the summer of 2016, while they may have been my scariest episodes with MS. The seizures were bad, but I was fortunate enough to have my boyfriend present each time they occurred, and I was able to prevent physical injury. The hardest part was that they came along with the loss of memory, garbled vocabulary and loss of vocal control.
I can't explain the feeling that hits you when you try to answer a telephone, and the words you are trying to say just won't come out. You are thinking the words clearly or know exactly what you want to say, but only slurred verbal diarrhea comes out. Then you try to explain what's up to the person witnessing your loss of articulation, but the words fail again and again.
For weeks I would forget what I was saying mid-sentence, every-sentence. I sounded like a babbling idiot 100% of the time, and lost the majority of my (previously extensive) vocabulary. I am so grateful for a patient and understanding boyfriend, who was able to support me through this time.
With a sieve-like memory, it was very difficult to rebuild my vocabulary and repair my speech, It took me months of reading, writing, listening and communicating in basic interactions, to re-learn even the most simple words.
Knowing that I COULD get better is the only thing that kept me persevering. I am not only able to articulate again now, but have found a new love for language and even started to do some freelance writing!