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Fighting, Flu, Flares

Posted Jan 06 2010 5:20am

First of all, thank you to Herrad for the Fighting MS award!! If you don't already know her, please go visit her. She is a wonderful person with a huge heart. Thanks again!!

As seems to be usual over the last several months, it has been a bit since I have been here, so I need to write about a few different things.

Two days before Christmas I was struck by a severe case of the flu. At least I think it was the flu but I didn't go to the doctor to find out for sure. I was fine that morning, although quite a bit tired, then next thing you know, bam. I was hit with it like a ton of bricks. As soon as I felt it coming on, I called Brian at work to let him know. I knew that is was going to be bad. It was so bad that I called my father a couple of hours later. He has some medical experience, and I was so sick I was scared. I told him what was happening, and he immediately called for the ambulance to come pick me up to take me to the hospital. I didn't argue, instead I made another of numerous trips to the bathroom where I was violently ill. I came out of the bathroom to find a police officer in my living room. I told him what was happening, explained it was probably just the flu, and had him cancel the ambulance. Looking back, if I would have gone, they would have given me IV fluids and probably an anti-viral medication, and my time of being sick would have been reduced. Instead I ended up being sick for 6 days. But on the other hand, I cancelled out of fear of making a mess out of the ambulance! I couldn't stay out of the bathroom for more than a few minutes at a time, so I was afraid to embarrass myself. So instead I suffered. And missed all the Christmas festivities. I did get to wathc the kids open the gifts that Santa brought them, and that was wonderful. Santa overdid it this year, and the gifts were piled high. You should have heard them telling everyone how high their gifts were piled. They were in awe. Santa has to tone it down some. I have to have a conference with him and let him know next year he has to not go so crazy. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more rather than being so sick. Oh well. Next year will be better.

Unfortunately, the flu caused some MS problems that I am trying to ignore until my next scheduled visit, which happens to be next week. On the last day that I was sick, my entire right side, even my face went numb. Then other parts of my left side started going numb. It was almost the same as the initial flare up I had in July 2008 that led to the diagnosis of MS. Some of the numbness has dissipated, but some still remains. I've also been in more pain lately, mainly at night in my legs. I wake up often at night, not just from the pain, but I always have had sleeping problems. When I wake up, the majority of my body is numb. And I mean completely numb. No sensation anywhere. But as I move around, the feeling starts to come back, except in a few small areas. Some times I wake up with the feeling that someone poured cement over me while I was sleeping. I almost start to panic with fear that I can no longer move, but after a minute or two, everything seems to work fine again. Strange sensations that cause even more of a lack of sleep!

It has now been 9 months since my last real flare up that needed steroid therapy, and I thank the makers of Rebif for that. I had a flare up in April that needed steroids, then I started Rebif in May. Although I still have symptoms that come and go, good days and bad days, things have evened out some. If by chance I do need steroids this time around, I'm not worried that the Rebif isn't doing it's job, I know it was the flu that screwed things up.

I was better by New Years Eve so we took the kids to what we now know will be a yearly tradition for us. A school about 30 minutes away hosts a family night full of fun. Crafts, games, magicians, clowns, shows in the auditorium, sports events, obstacle courses, live bands, game shows, karaoke, mini golf,etc. All fun stuff meant for families with no alcohol involved. All of the activities are in two of their school buildings, and rather than walk between the two schools in the cold, they have a limo that takes you back and forth. We stayed until midnight, when they have a little celebration with a bunch of ballons dropping from the ceiling and the band plays. Brian and I got to have our New Years kiss, which was really sweet. Normally we would be fast asleep by midnight!! This was our second year attending, and the kids just love it. In fact, Brian's oldest son, who is 12, told me that when he is older and has kids, he is going to bring them every year.

Quitting smoking has been successful. My last cigarette was on November 29, so it has been more than a month now. some days are harder than others, but I am determined to make this work. Its funny though, I see someone smoking and I actually feel pangs of jealousy. I want one too!!!! And if I am near someone who is smoking, I take a deep breath in to get a good whiff of it. When we are driving, I actually look at drivers of oncoming cars to see if they are smoking, and if they are, I get jealous. Why can't I have one? Why does something I enjoy have to be so awfully horrible for our health? Sheesh, I can't smoke, I have to be careful with drinking because of my past abuse of it. I need some sort of crutch. I LOVE to shop, but that's too expensive. I will figure something out.
One thing I am obsessed with is Pogo. I can't seem to help it. If you enjoy games online, go to . It is awesome, and addictive, so be careful!

This past Sunday, my son noticed a lump on Duncan, the Siberian Husky we took in last May. At first I thought son was messing with me, because he usually does, but I checked, and sure enough, there is a lump on his front leg right near his body. And the lump is about the size of a softball! It totally freaked me out, so I took him to the vet, and now he has to have surgery. They tried to aspirate fluid out of it with a needle, but no fluid would come out. They examined a piece of tissue that was on the end of the needle under a microscope and found it to be fat cells. So he has an adipose (fat) tumor that has to be removed. They are usually noncancerous, but they will examine it further after the surgery. They said it will be a messy post surgical procedure because of where it is located, his body will continuously try to fill the area in with fluids, so there will be messy drainage for days after. Ick. I feel bad for the poor guy, but actually it doesn't seem to bother him a bit. He is scheduled for surgery on January 19th.

I think that's it for now. I have lots to do today so I better get at it.
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