Good news and bad news.....but mostly good! MRI results.

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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 7/27/2009 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I know I don't post here very often but I do read lots.  I like it here.  I have MS.  I don't have too much pain to deal with.  My pain is mostly nerve pain.  For the last 6 months I have had some neck and upper back pain.  I just assumed this was from MS spasticity.  I get this in my left leg as well. 
Every summer I am to have an MRI to check progression of my disease.  I hate them as they almost always mean bad news.  Even if I feel ok they usually show some disease progression and it is a bit depressing.  I have to have my brain, cervical spine and thorasic spine checked. 
So the good news is!!!!  (drum roll please)  I have no new lesions!!!!  I am over the top.  It means that my shots that I take daily are helping to slow the disease down.  Obviously the slower the better to keep me from disability.
The bad news is that I do have a herniated disc between c5 and c6.  My neuro thinks it is the MS spasticity pulling things out of whack.  I have a referral to a neuro/spine surgeon.  I am not having surgery any time soon.  My pain is not that bad.  I will be looking into other treatments.  I will be back on baclofen three times a day for the spasticity and I am sure that will help.  Any suggestions for non-surgical interventions?  What has worked for anyone?
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 498
   Posted 7/27/2009 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gretchen

What a pleasant surprise to receive some post from you. Well I glad that your MRI result did not show any new lesions, but at the same time a little worried about your herniated disc. I hope the neuro/spine surgeon is able to set it right through medicines. Take care. My prayers are always with you. Keep us posted about your appointment with neuro.
45 years Male Attorney
Diagnosed UC October 1989
Had two stage J Pouch Surgery Nov 2005; Take Down March 2006
Complications after surgery - Incisional Hernia and Ano Fistulas
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle: Albert Einstein
"What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you."

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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/27/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on the good news! And no new lesions is GREAT news! I have to confess to not knowing a lot about MS (although I read Richard Cohen's book, Blindsided - it's great) so I don't know about how the spasticity affects the body, but anything that pulls us out of alignment can cause problems. Since that may keep happening, I would wonder about surgery, too, although I don't know for sure. Do you know if any type of PT might be helpful? Maybe someone else here can help more with that.

A surgical consult can't hurt, but you don't have to go through with it.

Right now, take some time to celebrate!

If I think of anything else I'll add more.


Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/27/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   




Oh GIRL! That is fantastic NEWS!!!!!!!!! And good! I needed good news! I do alot of things to help with my pain. But they are just small things, NSAIDS, Injections, TeNs, Antidepressants... shakehead   Im no so sure I would be of help there. But WooOOooT! *high Five*

*warmest huggs*


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/27/2009 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I also forgot to say that "nerve pain" is pain so never feel that you don't belong here. Many of us have nerve pain, and if you think about it all pain is really nerve pain as it's generated through the CNS. But I understand the different aspects of it.

Anyway, you belong here as much as anywhere!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3452
   Posted 7/27/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
This is for you (and anyone else that cares).  MS is auto-immune.  The trigger is poorly understood.  Once the MS begins, then the body begins to attack the myelin sheath that covers neuron cells.  Electical impulses travel upon neurons much like electricity along a wire.  When the myelin is stripped off, like the insulation from a wire, the message can no longer reach its goal.  These damaged areas are called scars, plaques or lesions.  They are areas of intense brain or spinal cord damage.
The damage is permanent.  The brain will attempt to create new neural pathways to compensate for damaged areas.  The cerebellum, the brain stem and the spinal cord are unable to do this. 
MS is progressive and incurable.  MS is unpredictable.  It leaves some very disabled and others just have mild symptoms.  There are only 6 FDA approved treatments that attempt to slow down the disease.  Four are used as start up drugs.  Two others are used when the first four aren't working.  All treatments are either shots or IV infusions. 
MS symptoms can range from numbness, tingling, vision problems and blindness, bowel and bladder issues, vertigo and balance disorders, fatigue, depression, and paralysis.  95% of those with MS live a typical lifespan.
That being said, I am doing well.  I am very blessed and I live with hope that I will have a life with meaning and joy. 
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/27/2009 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the very informative post on MS. I'm sorry that you are dealing w/ all of this. I can relate to some things as a few of my health issues are auto-immune illnesses.

I especially liked what you said about feeling blessed and living w/ hope that you will have a life w/ meaning and joy. Those are my exact wishes as well. It took me a long time to get in that mind-set. AND I still have my bad days where I have moments of "why me?". But I am now trying to find meaning with the "new" me.

Thanks for sharing, Gretchen...

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/27/2009 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Gretchen, its your buddy N8 :) I am so glad you got some good news! I have been hoping you have had a good week. And thank you for your detailed explaination of what MS is. I also hope that you have a live full of blessings. You have a wonderful spirit and that is a BIG part of dealing with the cards dealt.

I do not yet know what it is I am dealing with, but i have found the right place and right crowd with which to share what I am feeling as well as feel that I am with people that understand. Please keep us up to date on how you are doing!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 7/27/2009 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Gretchen, so glad about no new lesions! sounds wonderful!!
But sorry you have herinated disc, those hurt too...
keep us posted and I hope you continue with no new lesions...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/27/2009 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I echo others' thanks for posting that. I learned some of it from reading Richard Cohen's book. He is married to Meredith Vierra, and his book describes his progression of MS throughout his life. I think he is now also doing a radio talk show.

That being said, I don't know enough to know about the surgery recommended as it relates to your MS (I don't know if this sentence makes sense!). I just know how I and many others haven't had good results from surgery, but I don't know if other MS patients have had positive outcomes. Is surgery often done when things like herniated disks appear? Of course you know from reading here there may be many other choices.

I and I think many others are very interested in learning how this dovetails with our experiences. There is probably a lot we can teach eachother. I also have a seizure disorder, so I know something about how it feels when your body does thing you have no control over.

Right now, I just hope you're celebrating!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3452
   Posted 7/27/2009 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much!  Yes I am so celebrating!!!!  You can't imagine!!!!  MS steals your vision of the future.  That is the worst part!  I refuse to picture myself even a year from now.  I just live day to day.  There are blessings to that though.
I am NOT planning on surgery.  I am not a fan of that sort of thing unless all other avenues have failed!!  I cannot imagine that is warranted as of yet.  I am realy not in that much pain!  I am sore sure but I was thinking PT or baclofen to reduse the spasticity, or both.  I am going to work very hard to avoid that!  I am a hard worker!!!  You watch me!  I will have this thing fixed without surgery!!!  (I hope, I hope, I hope  :)
I don't expect my treatment would be that different from any herniated disc.  MS complicates things only a little.  It could simplify things if it is from spasticity.  Baclofen may be all that is needed.  MS sends wrong messages or no messages.  I am not exactly sure why there is spasticity with MS.  I know that botox may be an option here.  If the exact muscles doing the pulling can be indentified then they can be deadened.  I had this with a problem in my left leg.   It worked like a charm and lasted a long time!!
Thanks everyone, for the responses.  I appreciate your support.
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 7/27/2009 11:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gretchen, such good news for you to have no more lesions, really positive. I'm currently doing hydrotherapy with a physio. Basically physio under water and there is a woman with me who has a herniated disc as well as other problems (she fell off a balcony!!!) But I find the warmth plus the water wonderful for building strength. It may be worth talking to some one about it. I have RA and had lost a lot of mobility with my hips and knees, I'm feeling much more positive with this class. It may be worth pursuing, golitho.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1199
   Posted 7/28/2009 5:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Gretchen, I'm so glad we got to talk last night.I'm thrilled to hear your good news and always wishing you the very best. I just know if anyone can find relief from a herinated disc without having surgery it's you!!!! Stay strong and keep up with the good spirit.

Love Ya!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/2/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   

I know that this is late (I'm still trying to catch up on my reading from being away), but I did want to give you a heatfelt CONGRATULATIONS! What fabulous news! I hope you did something to celebrate, or maybe just jumped for joy! :-)


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 8/4/2009 1:47 AM (GMT -6)   

Don't know you well as yet but still...ROCK ON WITCHA BAD SELF! I'm glad that your medicines are doing their job and I hope they continue to do their job well. I know it must be awful to have MS. I can't imagine the worry of your yearly MRI visits but at least this one and hopefully many more will be favorably for you.
27/f/CD. 4 CD related surgeries: 2 resections, 2 JP drains, 3 NG tubes, many absesses (including the one my most recent surgery scraped off my ovary) and fistulas.
Have lost in these surgeries: appendix, 8 in. intestine, R fallopian tube, gallbladder, 10 in. intestine
Allergies and Asthma my whole life
Depression after surgeries and illness of 2003.
Crohns Dx'd: February 2008.
Fibromyalgia Dx'd: July 21, 2009
Prenatal Vitamin
Allergy meds

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