Thanks for the support. There is no reason to run off to the doctor. That is the good news with MS. There are very few emeregencies. If this is a flare, then it is almost predestined.....umm how to explain. There is no stopping the damage or disability that comes with a flare. I can do those lovely steroids, but that only helps me manage the discomfort, it is not an actual treatment that lessens the severity of the damage.
I am a little depressed as this means that dreaded "progression". I know I have a progressive disease but I happily live in denial about getting worse. Sigh.
So anyway, it is about the same this morning. There is definitely something going on but so far it is moving slow. The steroids are pretty miserable in and of themselves and I won't do them unless this gets really bad. The steroids consist of 1,200 mg of IV infused solumedrol per day for 3 - 5 days. That much steroid definitely cools the inflammation but it makes you crazy too!! Hehe.
Ok here is your MS 101....it is autoimmune. My t-cells just randomly decide to attack the myelin that covers that axons of brain cells, optic nerve cells, or spinal cells. Myelin is the fatty coating of nerve cells that allows the electrical impulse to travel quickly and effeciently along the axon (nerve cell). When the myelin is damaged the electrical signals don't get through or shoot out sideways for confused or slow signals. It is a bit like stripping the plastic coating from an electrical wire; if you do that the electicity won't travel along the wire the way it is suppose to. After a while, if enough myelin is damaged, what you have is clumps of axons that actually die and no longer send any signals. These places are called plaques are lesions. The location of a MSers lesions dictates for the most part what their symptoms are like.
Most of the time MS is a relapsing remitting disease. A person has periods when their progression halts and they just have to deal with the current level of brain and spinal damage. Then they can flare and that is when there is an immune response going on and more damage is occurring. The perons will then add to their collection of residual symptoms and adjust to any new disabilities this damage causes. There are four types of MS; Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), Primary progressive MS (PPMS), Secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and progressive relapsing MS (PRMS).
I have had optic neuritis before. I know what it is like although this time is a bit different. The good news is most of the time, your vision comes back to a certain degree. It is only like 20 - 30 percent that there is some permanent vision damage. So I will hope for the best.
Sorry this is SO long! Thank you anyone who guts it out and reads all this. I guess I feel better just telling people about
Gretchen ~ diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.