I’m a week and a half into an MS flare-up. This is the second flare-up that I’ve had since my diagnosis and losing the sight in my right eye. Last October I had tingling in my feet. It died down after a while, and after changing my diet the tingling went away completely. This time around the tingling is more intense (way more intense) and is in my feet and lower legs again, my hands, my mouth, and nose. I also have what seems to feel like a headache behind my good eye. That made me very nervous. For an entire day I was having a pity party about being blind for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I have been to see my eye doctor from Vanderbilt twice and there is no sign of swollen nerves or Optic Neuritis. Because my symptoms are more aggravating and not debilitating, high dose intravenous steroids are not a good option. The steroids only make whatever healing is going to happen, happen faster. So it’s a waiting game again.
Having this flare-up has made me question and learn several things.
- Is this diet even worth it? I truly think so, but eating Paleo is especially hard when you feel kind of crummy. The thought has crossed my mind several times to screw it all and eat a bag of Oreos or a box of macaroni and cheese. But, I have resisted because I think it’s worth it. Maybe my flare-ups would be a lot worse if I wasn’t eating this way.
- I’ve gone back and forth about taking treatment. I keep asking myself, would this happen if I was taking medication? I just don’t know the answer. I have to look at it this way though. I know that if I had 10 flare-ups without the medicine, I would still have about 7 of them on the medication according to the latest statistics.
- When I go in for an MS check-up, the nurses always ask if I am in any pain. I never understood that question until now. Being tingly and on the verge of numb is kind of painful.
- Some days are better than others. Some days I want to go on and act like nothing is wrong and that I can still do everything that I want to. Other days I just want to stay in bed and wish it all away. When I am asked by the MS nurses if the flare-up hurts my ability to take care of my family, where do I draw the line? Is it really hurting my ability to take care of my family if I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything? I’ve realized though that the more positive the outlook the better day I tend to have.
- Stress seems to be a trigger for my flare-ups. The tingling feet started right before Seth’s dental surgery (a very stressful time for me). This time around I got too worked up about a paper for grad school. It was all I thought about and dwelled upon for several days. I’ve got to keep those stressors as far away from me as possible. (That is going to be something I need to work on.) I need to learn to care less about school, even though caring less might cause me more stress. Thankfully, I only have one semester left for a degree I’m required to have by the state to keep my teaching certificate.
- On the bright side, these flair-ups aren't happening just all the time. It was over a year since my last one and for that I'm thankful!