April is almost over so I guess I should get a blog in but I’ve been trying to avoid writing this for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t been feeling great recently and I guess I was waiting to see where this was going. I actually feel like I’ve been sliding backwards so that is not the greatest news to blog about. This is not completely negative because I’m not doing badly, it reminds me of the Counting Crows tune when he sings “Don't it always seem to go... That you don't know what you got till it's gone”. I’m sure this rings true for so many situations in life but for me it reminds me what it’s like losing it. When I go back to review the progress I’ve made it makes me realize how much I have improved. As I’ve written before this improvement is likely not noticeable to others and since it’s been very gradual it’s not even that noticeable to me, that is until it’s gone. I just stated that I’m not doing badly so I’ll try to explain.
I’ve just been feeling a little lethargic the last few weeks and what I notice is that improvements in my balance for example have dwindled somewhat. My legs have felt very heavy at times making it difficult to go up stairs the proper way that I’ve now learned and been doing very well at. I still tire easily so the fatigue factor has something to do with it but my point is that I just don’t feel as good as I was. Who knows, this could just be a temporary slow period and when spring finally arrives in Calgary it’ll reverse again. I can still say that I’m better off now than before I went to China I just don’t know what kind of staying power I’ll experience.
I have already written about how my morning stretching ability has faded away and I’m now back to performing a completely controlled stretch and when I let it get away on me I’ll go through leg and back spasms. Another positive that I blogged about some time ago was that the relentless and annoying vibrating sensations that I experience had become barely noticeable but this too has reverted back to become a problem again. I started noticing it more at night when I went to bed and when I woke up but now it’s an irritant throughout the entire day again. The sharp pains I was having in my chest and into my armpit still come and go without any rhyme or reason but I’m used to it now so I don’t let it phase me. My eyes continue to bother me becoming very sore and my left tends to blur, I’m very sick of eye drops and ointments that I don’t think are solving anything. I think my best option is to use Refresh Tears when my eyes get sore because I don’t believe my ophthalmologist knows what to do or why I have this problem. I think all of the issues I just stated are simply another MS mystery and any honest doctor will admit that he or she doesn’t know what to do as much as they would like to think so. The sharp pains I just described are neurological in origin and this I am 98% sure of but this is too vague for many to accept. My physical therapist believes it has something to do with my cane and my massage therapist believes there is an explanation for everything and most problems can be solved with traditional treatment. Not that these are bad theories to work from but essentially I’m the one feeling it and after all of my experiences with doctors of all sorts I have learned that I am the best judge of what’s going on.
So I’ve just made it sound as though I’m falling apart but these problems are all something that I’m completely familiar with and I’ve been dealing with them in my daily life for years. I know I’ve made this sound very discouraging and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a little discouraged but none of this is truly unexpected. The point of my blog has always been to help people understand a little more about multiple sclerosis and share my experience and insight as it relates to stem cell treatment. To do an effective job of this I have to report honestly how I’m feeling whether that be good or bad. All things considered, I think that I’m doing well and yes, I remain very happy that I went to China. I haven’t experienced any progression and I haven’t had any attacks even though I haven’t been on any MS medications for almost a year. I still can’t evaluate success or failure of the treatment and I still consider the outcome to be defined by the old adage “time will tell”.
I have recently spoken to both of the other women with MS that underwent the treatment with me in China. Both of them have had very similar results to mine, save my recent complaints. They have not experienced any dramatic improvements but they are feeling good and have maintained the benefits they’ve received and remain very happy that they went to China. My feelings of discouragement arise because I was hoping to receive greater improvements but from the beginning I have stated that I’m not going into this experience with lofty expectations. The slight disappointment I feel is temporary and just means that I’m human. Anyone that has followed my journey thus far must know that there is no room in my character for dismay or a negative outlook. I remain optimistic and always strive to live happy! There are two main principles that I cling to in order to maintain a positive outlook, the first is that the power of prayer can achieve amazing results, feelings of comfort and peace and the second is that hope is always alive. NEVER LOSE HOPE!