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Statistics

Aug 25, 2010 - 0 comments

  When I first guessed I had MS about a month ago I started taking vitamin D and magnesium suppliments.  Whatever statistical data I read about MS mentioned that vitamin D was normally low in patients.  And although I was convinced that I got enough sun here in sunny Texas, off I went and bought my suppliments.  I have been taking them about 4 weeks now.

  The doctors office just called and confirmed that my vitamin D levels are low (13, when they should be between 30-100) and the doctor wants me to take 10,000 IU's of quality vitamin D3 a day along with magnesium.  Hum, good thing I am already ahead of the game taking 3K a day.  At one point I remember someone saying last month, probably on this forum, that they didn't want to take suppliments to early b/c it wouldn't give the doctor an accurate bloodwork reading.  Heck with that I thought, I am going to do anything and everything I can to take charge and give myself the best head start on this as I could.  So glad I listened to that inner voice.

   Same is true for cleaning up my food choices (anti inflamatory).  No more dairy (including eggs for now), gluten or soy for the last month.  I am eating low fat and not consuming red meat.  My diet consists of all kinds of fruits, veggies, veggie juices, chicken (without skin), all kinds of fish/sardines, brown rice, almond milk for my cereal (brown rice cereal that is), rice crakers, nuts, olive oil, and a whole lot of water.  I also read someone say that it was too hard of a plan to follow and they weren't sure they could do it.  While I understand and don't judge someone for making different choices, I have to again follow my path and give myself the best possible chance that my MS is going into and staying in remission. The statistics are not as clear as I would like but there does seem to be an advantage (even if it isn't huge) of this helping MS patients live a better quality of life.  So I am doing it for the rest of my life.  To me this isn't a sacrifice, it's as life saving of my quality of life as my meds will be.  As mild as my symptoms have been from my MS attacks, I can only imagine how bad they could get and will do WHATEVER is in my power to put myself in the best possible postion to postone a progression. And I already know I have some food allergies so this way of eating is eliminating possible irritants that might kick up my immune system.

  I was thinking of statistics a day or two ago when I realized that I am in the minority of MS patients in so many ways.  First MS apparently effects only about 400,000 people here in the US.  Not a huge population.  My Dr Cocky say that it is probably accurate even though people think it is underreported. Why?  B/c he says, it is also wrongly dx'd.  He said he has undx's several people himself.  I didn't ask him what they ended up having but I thought that was interesting.

  The form of MS I have RR is the most common kind but only b/w 20-30% of us have only the spinal lesions, rather than the brain lesions.  Now of course I could have the brain ones but so far they haven't found them.  One of the things that spinal MS can do is swell and cause edema which later causes atrophy of the spinal column.  Not good. So far there is no evidence of any swelling or edema so I guess the atrophy is something that I hopefully don't have to worry about for a while.

  Most of my life I have been beating the odds.  I married for the first time in my 20's and was in an abusive marriage. Statistics were against me getting out.  The getting out was prompted by a voice I heard in my head that I belived to be God in the form of the Holy Spirit telling me that this wasn't His plan for me.  Had I EVER had an experience like that before?  NO WAY.  That is why I listened.   And this became the beginning of my personal relationship with God/Jesus/the HS that I have learned to trust.

  In my late 20's when I had my first bout with numbness and they did an brain MRI they found no lesions but what they did find was very frightening. A neck tumor deep at the base of my brain (but not attached) in a space.  I searched high and low for a doctor experienced enough to take it out safely. It was scary hearing doctors say that this was a difficult area and that IF they could get it out I probably would be mute and perhaps have major nerve damage in the process of extracting it.  

  An urgent call out to friends producted a lead here where I live which took me to another Dr Cocky that said what I had was very rare (even rarer for people my age at the time) but that people from all over the world came to see him to have him perform the surgery.  He flat out said, "You don't want anyone else doing this but me."  And so I was in his hands.  And in spite of the fact that he said if I were 50 or older he wouldn't perform the surgery b/c the recovery was so difficult.  Although I looked like the Bride of Frankenstein for many weeks after the surgery (long incision from middle front of my neck, around the side and up and around my ear), it was a huge success and with physical therapy I competely recovered with no after effects.  I beat the odds.  Who knows, had I not gotten my first MS attack and the tumor hadn't been found in time to remove it (even by Dr Cocky) where I would be today?  So I guess you could say the MS attack might have saved my life.  

  In my early 30's I was lucky enough to become pregnant with identical twins.  Ah, as luck would have it identical twins are much more high risk than fraternal b/c they share the same sack and can have many complications as a result of that.  Well, once again I was facing a challenge.  Again, I took extreme care of myself and with med's and bed rest I gave birth to very healthy twins ( over 6 1/2 pounds each) at 38 weeks (considered full term for multiples).  It was after the c-section and after 12 hours of labor we discovered that if they had been born vaginally one of the both could have experiences major complications b/c of the two ambilical cords wrapped around each other.  We beat the odds again.

  For me though the story wasn't over.  I started hemorrhaging right after their birth and had to go back into surgery to get it stopped.  There was no stopping it however and b/c of the massive loss of blood I experienced they were unable to take the chance to wake me up to ask if they could perform a hysterectomy.  They asked my dh to sign the papers for me and said they weren't even sure they could save me at that point so he HAD to sign.  And he did.  Oh there is more,  lots of time in ICU when my kidney's stopped functioning.  Lots of worry from everyone but I knew.  I knew that God had made a promise to me that I was going to be the one to raise my babies.  And once again I beat the odds.

  I remember about a year after our children were born and I was having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that we couldn't have more children of our own.  My dh finally said to me, "Maybe God only wanted us to have two children Julie."  That did it for me.  I began to see that perhaps there was a plan that I wasn't aware of and I had to trust.

  And so here I am again facing a challenge that was really there all along but I wasn't aware of.  Nothing is different today than it was on Sunday or the days/months/years before except now I know that I have MS.  All that has changed is the knowledge that I have it, not the fact that I have had it for probably close to 20  yrs.  I read a quote from General Patton who said "Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory."  Know what you are figthing for and fight to win. Who the hell cares about the statistics when it comes to your medical odds of something?  Just by possibly having MS for as long as I have and having my last attack 10 yrs ago, I am in the minority.  That is great and I will gladly take whatever statistical advantage that might give me (finally I am supposedly on the winning end of the numbers game) but at this point I know more that most,  statistics are only as good as your personal outcome from those statistics.  And I intend on coming out on the winning end of this statistical fight I am now in.  I intend on continuing to listen to the One who is speaking the Truth in my head when I stop long enough to listen. I have learned to trust Him not because of my circumstances but dispite my circumstances. He never changes.  Does it always turn out exactly the way I want?  Well no certainly not, but He is always with me, He has never left me, He loves me, and He will see me through this like He always has.  And that is what I know 100% without a doubt.

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