Monday, March 16, 2009


It’s been a while since my last post but there hasn’t been much happening. My progress remains the same which is a good thing because I have not seen any real progression in the MS. My days are still very up and down because fatigue is still such a big factor but when I’m energized I do see improvements in balance and mobility. Just last Tuesday I was so impressed with myself because I was walking around my house without my cane and doing very well! This is an improvement that I can definitely notice but unfortunately it is not sustained but hopefully I’ll continue to progress. I think the physical therapy has been the most beneficial but this is difficult to say. It could still be the combination of stem cells, acupuncture and physical therapy all working together.
Back to last Tuesday, I was feeling good but while working out I managed to tweak my back again. I think this is the recurring injury that I suffered through all of last summer so I’m praying that there won’t be a repeat of that. After months of suffering I finally found relief when I started seeing my chiropractor so I was in to see him the very next day which was a beginning to feeling better. The following day I had acupuncture which I still try to do once a week. On top of her usual treatment she worked on my back as well and I think this was beneficial. Then on Friday I had a massage which was successful in loosening up my tense muscles so after all these treatments my back wasn’t so painful but still very bothersome. I’ll follow up with these same treatments this week and hope for further recovery because it totally sucks to have a bad back! When I had my severe back pain in China it felt like I had a cracked tailbone which is different from the back pain I’m experiencing now but I’m sure it is a result of that same herniated disc.
It’s only been in the last month that I’ve started working out again so it sucks to have reinjured my back because last year it prevented me from exercising from June until I went to China. Working out is important to me because life is so much easier when I’m stronger. Because I don’t have balance or the ability to coordinate different muscle groups to work together, I must rely on brute strength to perform many tasks such as lifting or even opening some doors. It also gets my heart rate pumping which is good since I don’t really get any cardio exercise. I’m also a prime candidate for osteoporosis because I’ve had so many high dose steroid treatments and weight bearing exercises are recommended to strengthen bones. Working out is not only beneficial for strength but it builds muscle making me appear strong and fit, when you look healthy it’s easier to feel healthy!
Unfortunately my back isn’t the only issue that I’m currently dealing with. I recently blogged about vision problems I was having and it’s gotten worse. My eyes get very sore and like that day in Costco, they can become very blurry. I’ve been back to my ophthalmologist who continues to believe the problem is caused by an infection however I know part of it is due to MS. Like anything else the problem becomes exacerbated with fatigue and if the cause is just due to infection why has it been ongoing for over two years. Why does the pain and blurred vision come and go day to day and why can’t the antibiotic eye gel ever fully correct the problem? In the end I think he is like most other doctors and can’t fully understand what I am going through, what the real cause or causes of the problem are or how to effectively treat the problem if indeed it is treatable. Perhaps he can prescribe medicine to alleviate the pain and ease the vision difficulties but I also believe that he operates from a box defined only by the parameters of his area of expertise. He is not very personable and never voluntarily explains the causes or treatments that he is prescribing. It seems his attitude is: I’m the expert now just do what I say. We’ll see what happens this time around, I now have 3 different drops, one to apply three times per day, one to apply four times per day and one just before going to sleep. It’s very confusing to schedule the times properly so I can actually “do what he says”! When I filled the prescription the pharmacist made a faux pas saying “Oh you’re going to have eye surgery” but quickly qualified her statement after seeing my reaction. She said it’s common to use these different eye medications in conjunction with one another when having eye surgery which I’m sure isn’t in my doctor’s plans but who knows because he never explains anything.
I remain very positive about my health and improvements that may still appear. I’m also positive and hopeful about further advancements that are being made with stem cell research. I think I might write about some of the promising discoveries that are being made in my next blog. For example progress in differentiating stem cells to create specific neural lineages and specific cell pathways that prompt stem cells to specialize and become blood cells. With Obama lifting the ban on embryonic research there should be a flood of new research projects starting up and our understanding of stem cell science is growing by the day. I only wish there was more collaboration between scientists and especially from different parts of the world. If someone could actually collect and coordinate all the different research findings from around the globe I’m sure we’d experience a leap forward in our collective knowledge and proximity to new treatments and cures. We’ll get there one day and the future does look bright, we just have to cope with the present in the meantime.

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