Sunday, April 24, 2011

Almost one year

My "liberation anniversary" is only a few days away and it's Easter, so it's a good time to reflect on this past year. After a slow start compared to many others who've been liberated, I've seen the following changes:

Fatigue: this has been my biggest change. About a week after returning from Poland I noticed that I wasn't as fatigued, that special MS fatigue I expect you know well. Sometimes over the next few weeks or so I would say that my MS fatigue was 80% reduced. For me this was the biggest improvement in terms of change to my quality of life.

Mobility: Within a month of the procedure, I stopped using my cane except for longer walks, to provoke sympathy at airports, or when i was reminded by my physiotherapist that I should use it to help me learn how to walk right again. My EDSS has gone from 5.5 to 4.5, but I still have a bad limp and can't go more than a few hundred meters without a rest. I have days when my walking is worse, but sometimes that's caused by too much red wine.

Balance: My balance got better a few weeks after Poland and has stayed much better all along (again, except when I've had too much wine).

Strength: My left side has been weak since early in my MS, but I did see a noticeable improvement a few weeks after the procedure when I did my regular workout. While this varies considerably day-to-day, I would say that it has only improved a little more (if at all) in the months since then.

Bladder function: I was already on Flowmax when I had the procedure and I just stayed on it, it was hard to tell if any improvements were due to the procedure or the medicine. However, I stopped Flowmax a month ago and most of my improvements remain.

And finally, starting a couple of months ago, I began noticing that my left foot wasn't feeling frozen all the time... I finally have warm feet again!

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