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DMD – Disease Modifying Drugs

When I was first diagnosed in August 1997, there were only three DMDs available; the ABC drugs – Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone. Being primary progressive none of the medications were actually for me, but we tried Avonex hoping to slow the progression. Alas, it did not work. Then when Rebif came out, we tried that. Nope, nada, nil. Finally when Tysabri came out I got on that immediately and it seemed to be working. Unfortunately it was not nice to my liver and I had to stop taking it. 😪

What I want people to understand is that these medications are there to hopefully slow and/or stop the progression. They will not repair your myelin, they will not make you walk again. People do notice a placebo effect and think that because they’re on the medication that’s why they are walking again etc.. While that is awesome, it’s also not the case.  What these medications do is, hopefully, suppress our over active immune systems and halt the progression. So any improvement, is all YOU and your awesome strength fighting the MonSter that is MS! 💪🏻

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As you can see from the picture above our immune system eats away at the Myelin thinking that it’s bad and in its own way protecting us.  If all goes well with the DMD will stop that from happening. At this time there is no other way except for these medications too slow and/or stop the progression of the disease.

HSCT – Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, is looking very promising. I’m hoping at some point it will be available for all of the types of MS. To follow the Journey of another amazing MS Warrior, check out this blog, Making Sense Of M.S.

I am now in the process of discussing two medications with my neurologist, Ocrevus and Lemtrada. I have to be very careful because of the fact they suppress the immune system. Because of my urostomy, as I’ve mentioned before, I have constant bladder infections. So when these medications suppress my immune system it puts me at a very high risk of sepsis. So, I’m not taking any of this lightly, but I really want my progression to slow and if possible stop. If I find something bad is starting to happen then I will stop the medication, but I’m very hopeful that one of these will work. For me the benefits outweigh the risks.

I see all the time how people are going ‘med free’ and that scares me. I fully believe in a good healthy lifestyle [diet] exercise and all the that goes with that, but that will not change the progression of your disease. I hear people say that they’re out of their wheelchair[s] now etc. following this diet or that diet. And that’s awesome, but what’s happening is they’re [most likely] in remission, but the disease is still in the background doing its thing.  If you’re choosing this route, just please be careful. Make sure you get your MRIs when needed and keep your doctor in the loop. Better to be safe than sorry.

I cannot wait for the day when I read, we have found a cure for MS! I just pray it happens in my lifetime!

Until then, this is what I think of MS;

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Have Courage and be kind! ♥️

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Positively unsure…

I’m positive that I’m unsure about everything right now. Day in and day out I lie in this bed and wonder if things are really going to change. When I say being positive is new to me, it’s a true story. I never realized that it’s very hard to keep a positive attitude. And when your life takes a turn like mine took two decades ago, it’s fucking hard. When I found help on February 23, I believed my life was going to change for the better. I’m still hopeful, but it’s much harder than I thought it would be. While I can move my legs and feet a little bit, I still am unable roll on to my side. I cannot sit up without something supporting my back. As I sit/lie here all I have this time. I’m looking at this blank page before me with tears in my eyes not even sure what to say. I miss the girl I was. I’m so angry at everything and everyone and at nothing and no one. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m saying or thinking anymore. I’m alone and I’m lonely but I don’t want anybody around me.

Most days I just want to scream at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason. The highlight of my day is watching the hummingbirds drinking the glorious nectar that keeps them going. Sugar water, go figure. I can stare at them and keep staring praying that they won’t fly away too quickly…

Is it so wrong two want to escape from this prison that is my body? I don’t want to sound negative or sad but nothing really is changing. We can’t afford a caregiver and I can expect my family to spend every free minute they have aside from what they’re already doing to help me. The whole physical therapy aftercare is a fucking joke. I can only call so many times without a return call. And in reality, if they do call I have no way to get there… So does it really matter. My husband cannot keep taking off as much work as he already does take care of me. My kids work and they shouldn’t have to take care of me. They have done that their whole lives already. And then there’s the pain… the pain that never goes away. The physical and the mental pain Is exhausting. I’m trying so hard to stay strong to keep that positive light flowing.

No one understands that when just sitting like a normal person causes so much pain, it makes a person not want to get out of the bed. The minute my hips go to the proper sitting position the pain latches on and won’t go away. My legs have plopped the side [frog legs] for over four years [11/2013] and when my hips rotate it’s excruciating. Pain meds, muscle relaxants, cannabis, CBD, nothing stops it. I’ve l earned to grit my teeth, quietly let the tears flow, bare it, and warrior on because I have to! I have orders to get ultrasounds on my legs to check for clots, an order to have x-rays of my hips and lower back to check for arthritis aside from my degenerative disc, an order for a mammogram that I’ve put off for the last 2 1/2 three years. Breast cancer took my sister from me I miss her so much…

And I digress. So as I said, I have all of those things I need to get taken care but have no way to get there. I know that my husband will take another day off work to get me to these appointments and that is why I don’t want to make them. It’s also going to suck big hairy donkey balls because of the pain that’s going to happen when trying to get me out of my wheelchair to lie flat for the x-rays. I hope they have some strong men working that day and maybe even a chaser of morphine.

On the outside looking in people probably think I’m lazy. Although I don’t know how I can do much more from my bed. I fought for the last two decades against MS and it didn’t change a thing. I Just kept progressing to where I’m now. But don’t worry, I’m still going to fight and do what I can from this bed to keep going.

I’m going to put my arm weights on every day and do my exercises. I’m going to have my family help me move my legs when they get a free moment. I’m going to keep moving my legs as much as I can even if it is only a little. I know right now I can’t move them very much, but with hard work it can only get better. Or it won’t. But even in the dreary depressed mood I am in at this moment, I will never quit. I will never end up in the hospital again after trying to take my life. [2/2017] I will never end up in the hospital again contemplating taking my life. [2/2018] Because what that month of physical therapy DID give to me was a glimpse in to what might be. I know now I was just a body in bed but while I was there I learned the tools to better myself. I have all the paperwork showing the specific exercises; I know what to do. And even if nothing changes, no one can say I didn’t fight and fight hard! One thing I learned and I’m still learning is there truly is something beautiful in every. I didn’t see that before. That’s how I make it through now. As I’m reading through this I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say. But, I’m in here and I’m saying it and that alone is strength.

Have courage and be kind.

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Must re-charge…

Yesterday I went to see my neurologist. I finally got to use my new wheelchair.

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When the doctor came in the room he looked at me and said, “You look so good!! No one would know you have primary progressive MS.“ I’m never really sure what to say when I hear something like that, so I just smile. We discussed the infusion, the newest DMD (disease modifying drugs), Ocrevus.  He said he would get an appointment for me and the drug rep as soon as possible. He is very worried about the ‘serious‘ side effects. We all know that the medications for MS do come with very serious side effects. The problem for me, is my urostomy. I am prone to kidney and bladder infections as well as kidney and bladder stones. Because my immune system is overactive, it’s fights off some of the infection. If I am put on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I could very easily become septic. So I’m kind of screwed. At least he is giving me the option and I will be talking to the drug rep about it. Hell, I haven’t had a cold or a flu for so many years thanks to my overactive immune system. The only time I have gotten sick was when I was on a couple of the DMD‘S many years ago.

Then I did my normal, “I need prescriptions“. The main medication I need is the daily antibiotic I have to take, twice a day, for my issues. Rapture! LOL  and we definitely cannot forget my antidepressants. Without those no one wants to be around me. 😈

After that we went to Walgreens to pick up my new prescriptions and then we went and got some dinner. I was only up for about three hours, but it totally kicked my ass. Today I am running on empty.

Must re-charge

Sadly that is what MS does to us… At least the majority of us. It’s very rare that we can go and do things, and then be able to go and do things the next day. It’s very depressing, especially when you were someone who was always on the go. This disease changes is and takes away everything we once were. That is why we must be stronger than our MS. We must fight it every day, which sucks hairy balls, but that’s what we have to do. And we do it because we are warriors!

                           Have courage and be kind

** I will be back with my positivity journey very soon. So much love to all! ♥️