February 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Posted in multiple sclerosis at 7:32 pm by melissasummers

Sometimes it is unbelievable at how fast time flies.  It has been one year since my last relapse and the start of this blog.   I originally began the blog to help myself track the progress as I recovered from my relapse.  After all when something is abruptly taken from you without warning, the shock of that reality can be overwhelming.    The first time I lost use of a leg, in 2007, fear and frustration set in immediately once my limitations were realized.  It took not only steroids but an extensive round of physical therapy to slowly bring back my ability.  My only regret on that relapse was I had no documentation, visual or written, to refer back on when I felt like I was not making any progress.  So, last year when the same thing occured on the left side, I began this blog for my own personal reasons.  Once I had it posted, I decided that the blog would be a useful tool in communicating to my family my well-being, accomplishments..or lack of gain.  Then as I faced the frustrations of dealing with MS,  I felt that others faced with this disease should be aware that they are not alone.  It is not uncommon to feel frustration and grief.  Not every story has a happily ever after.  Life is not as it once was…it’s different.  Yet, different is not bad.  I see things and  appreciate things in a new way.   Simple accomplishments are often celebrated…or  I should say, once simple tasks are often celebrated.  A few years ago, if someone told me that in the near future that I would celebrate the fact that I finished a 3 mile walk without collapsing, I may have laughed as I was an avid walker.  I have pushed my limitations beyond their limits.  I have learned that determination has a longer definition than what the dictionary states.

Today, I received my AFO, a brace fro my right foot and ankle.  Once I get some pictures, I’ll tell my story on dealing with this new and exciting part of my adventure!

February 12, 2009

Post Neuro Visit and Tools of the Trade

Posted in multiple sclerosis at 9:28 pm by melissasummers

On Wednesday I had a visit to my neurologist that was moved up a few weeks because of the trouble I had been having with my feet and ankles.  The last few weeks it has felt as though I have been walking around on ice skates with no ice.  My ankles feel very tired and weak.  And of course, once anything in my lower extremities feels weak, my balance gets unstable.

The good news is that I am not in the midst of a relapse, so no steroids.  The other good news is that I will be fitted this week for an AFO, a brace to keep my foot from dangling when I raise it to take a step.  While some may not consider a brace “good news”, I see it as a tool to help me stay moving.

It’s important to keep viewing assistive devices like braces and canes as tools, so many easily convert the views of these items as a sign of the disease “winning”.  But these items can be priceless .  With these things I am able to walk distances, or over uneven ground.  I also like to classify my medications also as useful tools that enable me to perform better than what I would be without them.  (Although I tend to have a love/hate relationship with my meds) 

Hopefully the  AFO will help keep me from tripping on my own feet, make climbing steps less tricky and also will help my energy levels as it will be less work to walk as my gait is affected by my misbehaving ankles.  Basically, I am excited about my fitting on Friday…I am hoping though that I will not have to get new shoes to fit around the brace, mine are only a few weeks old and I am not one for shopping!