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Winter Update 2010

by Jane D.
(Southern Indiana)

Well, I'm making it. I was determined not to have the bronchitis hang on all winter like last, so in addition to 5 days of steroids, then another 5 days at one half dose, I had my husband buy a Vicks vaporizer. I decided to be adult about it and forgo the cute animals they make these days. I went with a warm one, too, because I remembered how my children's cold ones (back many a year) used to cause some pain, as if I had a touch of trigeminal neuralgia. I obviously now get bronchitis from a cold and my asthma.

I MADE myself spend most of two weeks in the downstairs bedroom which had the vaporizer. Thank heavens, it also has the computer! This, plus the medicines seemed to do the trick and I finally cleared up the wheezing and major congestion. I also was diligent using my inhalers---the Advair twice a day and the Pro-air four times a day. It was worth it. Now a few weeks later, I possibly see and hear it coming back:(

My body still has a hard time getting from place to place, but I see in some small ways how I am better. I give the prednisone credit for allowing me to stand up taller. Even though I still don't last at walking too far, I am taller when I do walk. It helps me psychologically not to be all bent over, also. I still need all my aids, from furniture, to walls, to cane, rollinator, and wheelchair, but I feel just a tad stronger and I still go out some, mostly to church and an occasional restaurant.

I'm tutoring an additional grown student from the Near East three days a week for two hours each day, so I'm grateful people still come to my house, so I have outside contact. {Otherwise I'd be buying too much on the Internet:)} My weight is preventing me from getting my blood sugar numbers down far enough, they say, and I continue to work on that. It doesn't seem to have any effect on my walking, but I wouldn't really know since my blood sugar has run high since I began with insulin about a year ago. (After 7 years on oral meds) I finally got the Ok from my primary doctor to experiment around--just to get the numbers down!

I had a visit to my neuro last week. I

am so glad he has me coming every three months for supportive care. Even after having MS 37 years or so, it helps me to have his contact just from a security point of view as I deal with advanced MS changes now. I guess it makes me more comfortable to have someone's advice who understand the things I MAY be facing in my future. I've started reading about Advanced MS on the Internet and in books, too.

He had a couple hopeful possibilities for me. Because that tiny dose of prednisone seemed to help my walking, or at least strength in standing, he suggested I might want to consider pulse infusions. Once a month I'd have home health care (hopefully) and be given an IV of powerful steroids. At best the effects would last a couple weeks, maybe even three, and soon I'd be ready for the next dose. It would play havoc with my diabetes though. I told him it sounded good, but I thought it was just a tiny bit premature.

I then mentioned the new FDA approved pill that's coming out this week which is a symptomatic help in walking. I've never had seizures, and to my knowledge have OK kidneys for being 61, although because of the diabetes, I know they are not perfect. I may still be eligible for this new med. It's based on the old 4AP. I haven't actually learned the name of it yet--but it's something like ampyra. The manufacturer is Acorda, I think.

So my update finds my attitude good and my MS bod about the same. It's much harder to get around these days, and I am limited on my activities in a way I've never experienced. I don't ever just get in the car and go, by myself, at least. My husband is still being a prince in helping me as is our 29 yr old son who lives in this same town. I need and take help from anyone I can, and a woman who has helped me as a housecleaner for many years now helps me any way I need. We went together to the neuro the other day because his office was too far for me to walk to, and she pushed me in the manual wheelchair.

I am limited because of my MS, but I am cheerful, and my heart is happy. I do remember to thank God!


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