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When Chronic Illness is Awkward

Let's face it - sometimes chronic illness is just an awkward topic of conversation, and MS is no exception. As humans, we're typically "fixers." We like to fix things, get the job done, resolve the unresolved issues, find the cure, do the surgery, get the closure. It's super uncomfortable when things are left open, incomplete and broken.

I mean, really - this shouldn't even be a thing, in the world we live in today, with all of its scientific wisdom and medical advancements. It makes no sense that we'd have diseases with no cure yet, especially when we've known about them for so long. HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, Alzheimer's...and the list goes on. Those who find themselves diagnosed with these beasts often face a long road, full of questions, uncertainty, anger, fear, and isolation. There are treatments - drugs and procedures - but nothing, as of yet, to definitively CURE these life-takers.

It's a frustration that I never understo…
Recent posts

Enough with the Doctors Already!!

Seriously...want to know why it's been 21 days since my last post? (And, no, I haven't been in rehab.) I've been a little busy with managing the craziness that is an MS diagnosis.

We're talking doctor after doctor after doctor...and it's a little tiring, not gonna lie. In the past 21 days, I've had a doctor's appointment with my Primary doctor for shortness of breath, a trip to the ER, a spinal MRI, and more appointments are on the way. Much of my time is spent on the phone with medical offices or hospitals or labs; if I'm not on the phone with them, I'm emailing them, or going to see them. Ya'll - it's EXHAUSTING. I'm convinced that 25% of the exhaustion MSers feel is that of having to spend so much time managing a chronic illness. Seriously. I bet if we didn't have to do all that shit, we'd probably have just a bit more energy.

Anyway...

So I've been having issues with shortness of breath while at rest, and during conversat…

Brain Pics, Migraines, and Easter Fun!

It's been exactly 13 days since my last post. In a previous life, I might have felt bad about that...you know, letting so much time lapse without posting, wanting to "be consistent," blah, blah, blah. Not anymore. The "new" Ella-Kate has realized that #1: I have no one to impress, and #2: There are more important things than blogging these days.

Between figuring out ways to deal with the symptoms that the MS Monster hands you every day, to juggling a full-time job with mothering two kids, to training to become a part-time Camp Gladiator trainer, to keeping the dog alive - there are a lot of things on my proverbial plate right now, and blogging is usually not at the top of that list. Here are the most recent updates!

Since the ENT didn't find anything to explain the hearing and increased vertigo, my neuro sent me for a new brain MRI. They always do MS MRIs with and without IV contrast, which is not really fun, but it isn't horrible. You get used to these…

Some Docs Are Just Quacks...

Today was a rough day. I've had hearing issues - tinnitus, sensitivity to noise, fullness in my ears, and vertigo for a few weeks now. About two weeks ago, I made an appointment with an ENT who was recommended by my Primary Care doc. Today was appointment day, and I was ready for some answers, and some help. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. In fact, it was, quite possibly, the worst 2 hours of the week.

I'll spare you the 6 page essay that I COULD write on the giant 2-hour waste of my day; instead, you get the cliffnotes:

I showed up at 12:30 for my 12:50 appointment - exactly 20 minutes prior, like a good patient. I had already pre-registered online, so I only had a few forms to fill out and sign...you know, forms like "We really have no idea how many things we might try to charge you for, so just sign this paper saying we can bill you for whatever we want basically...plus an extra $500...yeah, that should do it."

I was the only patient. Literally. For like, …

The Human Pincushion Gets Her Ears Checked

That's kind of how I feel lately...a little like a human pincushion. Especially at night, ya'll...when I most want to relax and sleep. If my feet are even the TINIEST bit warm, it triggers the pins and needles in my feet to start going haywire. Yesterday, I did a little too much helping my 8 year old daughter clean her tornado ravaged bedroom, so I dealt with some wicked insomnia and the pins and needles in my feet, which really pisses you off when you're exhausted.


Oh, well...I did FINALLY get to sleep again, then woke up an hour later to go workout. I knew I'd feel even worse today if I didn't get my workout in somehow. I'm tired tonight, but I had to get some of these words "on paper" before I hit the sack.

Tomorrow I'm headed to the ENT, to see what the heck is going on with my ears. The muffled sounds, sensitivity to loud noise, and vertigo are getting worse, so we really need to figure out what's going on. They'll check my hearing an…

Jiggly Eyes, Wonky Ears and Jelly Legs

We decided not to go to church today. Well, I guess it's more like I decided not to go to church. I knew, after our busy day yesterday, that I'd be pretty tired today. And I was right. I've got the "jelly legs" this morning. Add that to the fact that it's chilly and windy out, and that makes for a pretty miserable me if I have to leave the house. 
So, the kids and I got up and ate breakfast, and I sat on the couch and folded the latest load of laundry. Lily's upstairs cleaning her pigsty of a room now, Eli is playing in his room, and I'm finally getting the chance to write this.
Okay, so let me explain the title of this post...
By "jiggly eyes," I'm referring to Nystagmus. Nystagmus is a condition in which the nerve pathways that control eye movement are disrupted. The Multiple Sclerosis Society describes it this way: "Nystagmus is the name for an uncontrolled movement of the eyes. They can move in any direction: side to side, aroun…

It's Gettin' Hot in Here...

"For many years, the “hot bath” test was used to diagnose multiple sclerosis. A person suspected of having MS was immersed in a hot tub of water, and the appearance of or worsening neurologic symptoms was taken as evidence the person had MS."

This was taken directly from an article on the National MS Society website, regarding the way heat and humidity, as well as cold, influence the symptoms of MS. Although I've apparently had symptoms off and on for a few years, and they started to be noticeable last summer, I still haven't had to deal with the brunt of them in the heat until just recently. And, unfortunately for me, it isn't even spring yet. And we live in Texas. Where it gets hot. Really, really hot. And humid.

This past winter, I didn't have too many problems during workouts, because we workout outside - the cold air kept my core temperature low enough that I didn't notice any exacerbations. Recently, we've had some warmer temps and it's been…