Category: Multiple Sclerosis

1900 Injections and Still Counting!

I sometimes feel like I need to just spill whatever is on my mind. I am not sure you want to hear about it, but since my blog is titled “Another Day in My Life” I’m just going to put out there. I guess this is kind of like a dear diary (now don’t you feel privileged you get to read my diary or does it creep you out? heh heh). Maybe the only person who reads this is my mom and in that case I doubt you are finding out anything new about me (or maybe you are). It has been kind of nice when friends have called to tell me they have read this and they think I am funny, or they say things like, “I never knew that about you before”. Dude wants me to start video blogging (vlogging) so you can actually hear and see me tell my stories. I am still trying to learn how to work my camcorder (I want to inspire you, not make you sick) but as soon as I do, I will be sure to make an awesome video for you. Until then here is what happened last night.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society called me last night. They want me to send out some letters to some friends asking for support. I am the busiest person on the planet and I almost told them no but I changed my mind and told the guy to mail me the letters. I don’t know if I will hand them out, I probably will to a few close friends. The phone call made me think. It made me sad for all the people suffering with this disease that is yet to be cured. Then I remembered, Oh duh, I have it too (it is amazing how I forget sometimes).I really would love it if they could find a cure for MS, but is that really possible?

I am not shy about talking about having MS but I don’t talk about it for sympathy. It is a part of my life. It is always there even if I don’t want it to be. I try not to think about it (not always a good thing). If I tell myself I feel good, then I do. No one feels good all the time right (I am sure there are people out there who feel a lot worse than I do every day)? It is always at night when I have to give myself my daily medication that I remember how much having MS really sucks!  I just hope that by me talking about it, people might understand it more.

Since I was diagnosed in 2007 I have given myself over 1900 injections. The meds for MS are only injectable and I really hate that part. I don’t mind the needles (they don’t faze me anymore), I can give myself my shot with my eyes closed. It is what happens after the injections. The medication breaks down my tissue and causes these lumps under my skin (big lumps and they are sore for a few days). After so many injections (I try to rotate the injections sites but there are only so many places I can shoot up) my body is turning into a lumpy mess and it has only been 6 years. I hate to think of how lumpy I am going to be in 6 more years (yuck). Most women my age are worrying about cellulite on their thighs and let me tell you honey, cellulite ain’t got nothing on these lumps on my thighs  (in my head I keep hearing Fergie singing… my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps, check it out). I am a pretty strong, secure woman but I have to tell you I am starting to get a complex about this (it is a good thing my husband thinks I am hot).

I could switch medications but the other ones I have tried give me flu-like symptoms. The meds I take give me the flu symptoms about every 6 months (this is so weird and doesn’t happen to everyone, lucky me) and then my body readjusts and I am fine. I am trading the flu for lumps. I am not sure if that is the best trade-off. They are supposedly coming out with an oral medication but I have read up on some of it and the side effects are not fun and I don’t feel like dying anytime soon so I am going to wait until they have tried it on enough willing participants to feel like it is safe (no guinea pig here, sorry).

So, I keep injecting. The meds are supposed to slow the progression of MS. I really hope it is working. The stories that freak me out are of the people who have MS and are fine one day and the next day they just can’t walk. How crazy is that? Or, they wake up and they can’t see (I did have that happen and it was really scary). Besides taking my medication there is really nothing I can do to stop it Oh ya, diet and exercise helps), so I try not to think about that part of it. I thank the Lord every day for all he has blessed me with. I pray that I can handle whatever life throws at me and that I can be good example to my kids. And hey, if it gets down to it, I will just bling out my cane, or my eye patch and head out to little league, or dance class or where ever.

Another day in my life.

shake

A few of my favorite things (nutrition things that is).

OK, so this is getting personal but I am pretty much an open book so here you go…

I was not loving my doctor at Kaiser so I decided to shop for a new one (one through Kaiser that is). I wrote down a list of questions and I figured I would interview this new doctor and see if it he is a good fit for me. I have all kinds of weird medical issues (not so weird that I will get to be on that medical mystery show one day, or at least I hope not) and I want a doctor who can think outside of the box. I have a naturopathic doctor that I LOVE and I want a Kaiser doctor that will work with my naturopath.

I love Doctor Bronner, my naturopathic doctor.

Now, let me back up a minute (eerrrpp, that is my back up noise, can you hear me making the noise?) I went to see Dr. Bronner about two years ago to see if he could help me with my headaches, irritable bowel and some issues I was having with my Multiple Sclerosis. He is so awesome. He is funny and personable and he knows his stuff. He helped me come up with a plan. He also has a blog if you want to check it out (click here for Doc Bron’s blog). I pay out of pocket to go see him and he is worth it.

I cut out all artificial sugar.

Artificial sugars were causing me to feel bloated and I couldn’t digest them. It was almost like an allergic reaction. My body just couldn’t take aspartame or dextrose or anything like it. I noticed a difference immediately.

I then set out in search of a meal replacement shake.

I am always in a hurry and I know that skipping meals is not good so I have always had a protein shake in the morning. Now that I can’t eat artificial sugars I needed to find a new shake. I tried a few that friends were selling (I wanted to be supportive and give my friends the business) but they still had small amounts of fake sugars and I swear my body knows. My friend Ellie (check out her site here) suggested I try Shakeology (from the people who promote the P90X) and I did and I am hooked. They are kind of pricey but so worth it. I drink at least one a day (sometimes two) and I feel so much better. They have all kinds of exotic ingredients (you can watch the video and read about it on their website) and they also have probiotics. This is when I discovered probiotics help with irritable bowel syndrome (they help me, this is just my personal opinion since I am not a doctor) and I swear I have not had irritable bowels since I started taking probiotics and drinking Shakeology.

I added 10 billion probiotics every day.

Primal Defense is the brand I use. Let me tell you (this might be TMI) how nice it is to not have to run to the bathroom when you are out with friends or at someone’s house We call it SAD (sudden attack of di…well you get it)? My brother and I both used to have this problem. We tried everything from no dairy, to tracking every food we ate (what time we ate and with what food combinations) and nothing worked. We (Derek is IBS free too) cut out the fake sugars and added probiotics and walla… success.

I don’t have headaches anymore.

I have changed the way I eat and I think that made a big difference. I cut way back on the real sugar and I am not eating a lot of breads or pastas. I have not gone gluten free or anything, yet. I did cut gluten out completely for a year and didn’t notice a big difference when I slowly added gluten back in so I think I am fine in that department (ask me again later and I might be on a gluten free kick again). My headaches are gone and I am happy with that.

 So, back to finding a new Kaiser doctor…

My brother went to see Dr. Martinez at Kaiser and he really liked him so I thought I would give him a try. He is at the La Mesa office and that is a lot closer than the Mission Valley office I was going to before. When I went in for my appointment I told Dr. Martinez I was interviewing for the position of my new doctor (this is an important decision you know). He laughed and told me if he knew it was an interview he would have worn a suit! He got bonus points for the good sense of humor but I am not wanting to date him, just have him for my doctor, so I asked a few more questions. My main question was could he and was he willing to work with my naturopathic doctor. He asked who I saw and when I told him Doc Bron he was quite enthusiastic. He told me Dr. Bronner was a colleague and a friend. Ding ding ding was going off in my head, we have a winner! Finally, maybe someone will listen to me down here at Kaiser. I know when hair clients come into my salon and they tell me that their hair takes color really fast, or goes straight easily or whatever, they know their own hair and I believe them. Why don’t doctors believe us? I had a doctor tell me I had allergies once. I argued and told her I don’t have allergies (never have) I have something else. She sent me home with allergy medicine and told me I would feel better within the hour. When it didn’t work and I demanded antibiotics and wouldn’t you know I got better? Hmmm, maybe we do know our own bodies?

I am hopeful this new doctor patient relationship is a match made in heaven. I will keep you posted.

Another day in my life.