Last Thursday I saw my neurologist. While I have had a LOT of improvement with many symptoms, and some of the lesions have become less inflamed- they have not gone away and are unlikely to fully resolve.
That was that. It was confirmed I am at my new "baseline", and now is the time to figure out my next step.
My neurologist acknowledged my knack for persevering, and staying as positive as I am through all of this. Truly, the news that I may not recover more made me pretty devastated, because my personal expectations are high. I anticipated (hoped for) a lot more recovery by now and am grasping at anything that makes me feel slightly more "normal", or gives me any sense of accomplishment.
What ARE lesions, anyway?
"In multiple sclerosis (MS), the body mistakenly attacks the protective layer around the nerves in the brain and spinal cord (also known as myelin). These damaged areas are called plaques or lesions. ... However, lesions tend to happen more in people with relapsing MS."
This is what my brain MRI looked like in July 2019:
What does my MRI look like, now?
The latest scan was done without IV contrast medium (Gadolinium) and does not show all the inflammation, but you can see many of the current active lesions.
So, what does it all mean?
Much of the damage has turned into scar tissue. This means that while I still may recover slightly over time, it is unlikely that symptoms of this episode will fully disappear.
Something you may notice quite quickly is that I am very upfront and honest, possibly to a bit of a fault. My joke has always been that "I don't lie, my memory is too poor for that." I'm being entirely honest when I say that the past 6 months have really, really sucked.
What have my days or weeks looked like lately?
Rest. Rest. Appointment. Rest.
Sprinkle on a little bit of sadness and a lot of self defeat, but also pepper in moments of reflection, triumph, and celebration.
Hard lesson I have had to accept...
The resting often does not feel conducive to productivity, but without taking these breaks we surely break down. Sometimes when things aren't going smoothly with life, health, love or business, we can be extra hard on ourselves and less likely to make time for self care. Not making time for the things that bring mental peace or physical comfort, is the fastest way to absolutely crush your productivity.
It is very important to remember that taking breaks is not the same as failing, or falling off track.
Self care is different for everyone. It doesn't have to be fancy face masks, and sparkling bath bombs from Lush. Self care can also be as simple as playing Super Mario bros. for half an hour (or 3 days straight, which I may have done while recovering from a flu). Do something to let your mind stop beating itself up, and just relax!