Friday, 30 March 2018

Surprise relapse and the dreaded prednisone

I've peeled myself out of bed and away from my iPad for an update.  Thank you to everyone who has asked.

To fill you in:

Yesterday I had another follow up appointment with my neurologist after my bad Ocrevus reaction.

Three months after the infusion and I am still feeling off.  A lot of dizziness and extreme amounts of fatigue, and last week I noticed my eye seemed "off." I couldn't tell what it was, so it was added to the pile of unexplained MS stuff.

My physical neurological exam showed that I now have MS-acquired eye nystagmus.  One eye literally shakes in it's socket and can't follow my Dr's finger in a straight line or without "jumping." It's a relapse.  And hopefully a temporary one.

And I couldn't do any of the balance tests.

There is no way to know if this has been caused by the Ocrevus, by my body reacting to this new drug mechanism, or if it's a completely separate event.

He examined me three times to be sure this all was as serious as presented, and admitted me for corticosteroids in hopes that they would help. I started yesterday and need 3 high IV doses, so will continue Tuesday/Wednesday.

Today I feel a mess.  Like my brain is loose and rattling inside my skill. Dizzy, disoriented.  A massive steroid headache.  I managed some sleep but am jittery and agitated.

(And had an ice cream cone for lunch.  Ha.)

I feel exhausted fighting this; tired of trying so hard without much result.

My heart feels heavy.

I understand that this is part of my life.  A huge part.  And I am ok with that.  I'm still learning, and living, and gaining perspective.

These little glimmers of reality just make it that much harder.

(But I'm still gonna put a funny picture right here:)

Friday, 16 March 2018

White blood cells

I am starting to see the effects of the Ocrevus physically.  And it's kind of blowing my mind.

They've dubbed it "the chemo for MS that never ends."

I've sure felt that, but now I see it too.

Ocrevus is a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets CD 20, a protein that is found on the surface of white blood cells called lymphocytes, or B cells.  This means that those B cells slowly die off, leaving you without a major part of your immune system.

This is why I've been avoiding sick people, germs, and use hand sanitizer a bit crazily.  I have no natural defenses against viruses, bacteria or injury.

And today it appeared physically in an odd way for the first time.  I was cleaning the railing of our outside stairs, as I do every year.  Nothing was different about the process, and I didn't injure myself or feel any pain during or after.  As normal as could be.

Fast forward a few hours and I am now covered in tiny sore bruises and more are appearing.

I'm not too sure what to make of it, but am hoping Tylenol, a hot bath and a good night's sleep help.

This is what it looks like now.  That's a bruise by the lower part of my tattoo, not a shadow.  Weird...

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

I'm not spamming you, I promise...

Firstly, to any subscribers who have been getting odd/old blog emails from my site, my apologies.  Please ignore.  Not sure what's going on.

But to put worrying minds at ease (thank you for reaching out and asking!), I am doing much better than when I last posted.  I am still having some odd dizziness and vertigo and a lot of extreme exhaustion, but I'm mostly back to normal life.

Man these meds are powerful.

It's been a slow process.  Recovering from the infusion, trying to get healthy, and attempting to figure out my next plan of attack.

I am not currently in the hospital, contrary to one of the weird repeat blog emails. Sorry!

I'm ticking along, enjoying the sunshine, and trying to get lots of sleep.

And for now, I'm using my very favourite (and most effective) medicine, laughter: