Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breastfeeding: A Treatment for MS

Monday night I went to have a pedicure. I don't get pedicures that often, but I needed to have nice toenails and not-so-grody feet for my MS appointment yesterday. Back in March when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I didn't realize how important my feet were to an MS exam. Your feet are pushed and pulled on and even scraped by this sharp instrument to make sure your nerves are working properly. I had stinky feet and ugly toenails for that visit and I felt so embarrassed and ill prepared. I don't think Dr. M even noticed, but I wanted to make myself feel better and have nice feet this time around.
Before seeing Dr. M, I walked down the hallway (to test my balance) and read the eye chart to the best of my ability (I can still barely see the big E on the eye chart with my bad eye). I also filled out a survey that was being conducted about the use of marijuana to treat MS. (Maybe one day I will be prescribed marijuana. Who knows?) Then I got to see the doctor. Since I hadn't started any MS treatments due to the pregnancy, I was anxious to hear how long it would be before I needed to start. Six months ago was assured that I would more than likely be safe from "flair-ups" if I exclusively breastfed as soon as Silas was born, but I would have to start medication after 3 to 6 months. Because I have been exclusively pumping though (at least 32 ounces a day or more) I think I extended the amount of time that I can stay treatment-free. By being able to know how much breast milk my body is producing (the more the better) I was told that I can breastfeed or pump in my case for as long as I like. That is as long as I don't have a "flair-up." So when Silas starts to eat solids and the amount of breast milk that he needs decreases, I can still pump what I always have and I should be protected. So
I was overjoyed with the news. I will still go back in six months for a general check-up, but I shouldn't have to start any medications until I give up pumping which will hopefully be at least a year from now. Yay for breastfeeding and pretty toes!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you've found a way to breastfeed longer! I know that means a lot to you. A friend of mine down here was unable to b/f her daughter for various reasons and has been able to pump for almost two years now. If you have any questions about how, feel free to let me know and I'll get you in contact with her.