Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Less Than 3 my Neurologist

So, we're at the annual follow up/seeing how the mito worked phase of our relationship. We both agree that I am doing and have done remarkably well. Here's all the news that's fit to print:

1. I still have some residual optic nerve damage (but nothing to worry about because my vision is 20/20) and weakness, uncoordination and spasticity on my left side (but again nothing really to worry about because my gait is generally good and I haven't needed a cane in quite some time).

2. I am being sent to the treatment patient's group on January 15 to learn how to manage the use of needles/auto-injector because on February 1, 2010 I go on Copaxone.

3. This is, of course, if we don't decide to do another round of mitoxantrone (Novantrone) around that time because...

4. There's either a oddly shaped blood vessel where my spinal cord meets my brain stem, an old lesion that didn't show up very well on my non-tracer material MRI last year that is now showing up on my tracer material MRI now, or it's a brand new lesion.

If it is a brand new lesion I'm getting one more mitoxantrone treatment. My MRI is being sent back for "reinterpretation" given my neurologist's concerns. I won't find out about that until the new year.

Even if we decide to do one more treatment, my doctor is getting all my Pharmacare stuff set up for February so I can start then. If it's delayed another 3 months, we won't have to do the paperwork then I can just start.

5. I my disease burden has decreased minorly, and my MS doesn't really appear as individual lesions, though I counted 5 very distinct spots as we viewed it together.

So that's the long and short of it. I'm doing as well as really can be expected for someone with relapsing-remitting MS with residual deficits as a result of a profound relapse almost a year ago.

Not looking forward to needles, but if it keeps me from a relapse for even a day longer than I would've had without it, I'm okay with that. With help from Pharmacare, it shouldn't be too much of a financial burden either.


a day or two ago I posted this story, about the University of British Columbia (UBC) putting together a proposal to study CCSVI at the clinic where I am a patient. I asked my neurologist about it and she was interested, but cautious.

She was pleased to hear that I don't think that this is *THE ANSWER* but perhaps *an answer* and that I was still confused by what CCSVI doesn't explain. She did write in my file that I was interested in being a participant in any study that does happen - but she did caution me on a couple of things.

a) This proposed study has no funding, no protocol and no ethical review yet. It's going to be be March before they even know how many people they are going to let in, let alone the scope of the study.

b) A vascular surgeon at UBC who has done angioplasty on veins, but not the inner jugular or azygos (chest) veins, thinks that the possibility of stroke or stroke leading to death with the "Liberation Procedure" could be as high as 1 in 100. Angioplasty on other less dangerously located veins have a stroke/death odds of about 1 in 1000 to 5000.

Sobering odds, really.

So that is the State of Lori's Brain n' such for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2010. Profits and output have improved 100000000000000000000000000000000 times from this time last year.

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