Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Black and Blue

A few days ago I noticed some huge bruises on my wife's legs. I asked her about them and she didn't remember where they came from or how long they had been there. This is not the first time this has happened, and it seems to happen quite often. I am not sure how Multiple Sclerosis and bruising go together, but I know that my wife bruises very easy. She can just barely bump into something and by the next day a huge black and blue bruise shows up. Most of the time she doesn't even realize that she had caused anything to happen, and then the bruise pops up. This seems to be another of those weird things that comes along with my wife's MS.

I know it frustrates her when she doesn't remember how the bruises happen. Her memory has been an issue off and on throughout the course of her MS. Sometimes she can recall things that happened years ago and sometimes she can't remember what happened five minutes ago. It especially frustrates her when she is talking to someone and forgets what she wants to say. I know this happens to everyone at some time or another, but this happens quite frequently to her. She describes it as brain fog. She says it is like she can't get her thoughts straight and focus, and then she has a hard time remembering anything. I have watched her struggle on these "brain fog days" to remember names, places or sometimes what happened a few minutes ago. We haven't found much that helps other than rest.

As far as the bruising goes, we are at a loss. We have had her checked for the normal issues that cause bruising but the tests always come back OK. Just this week my whole family had to have a test for child care licensing, and my wife's arm bruised right up where the test was administered. My daughter and I have clean arms with nothing other than a little spot where the needle was inserted. I don't know if this is a normal MS issue or not, but I do know it is normal for her. A few weeks ago she fell at a movie theater because she has a hard time seeing in dim lighting. She fell on her right knee, and it bruised up immediately. After two weeks it is finally starting to go away. We are going to keep trying to find the reason for the bruising, and I guess until we do, she will continue to be black and blue.


Kenny Scott said...

During 2007, I used to get a lot of brain fog days. When I had them, they rendered me fairly useless if I had to try to work anything out for myself. If the wife told me to go to the shops to buy some sugar, then no problem, I could manage that. But coming to the conclusion that we needed sugar by myself was a different story.

I then went to see a different neurologist, mainly to talk about whether I should go on disease modifying drugs, and I was explaining to her these brain fog days. I'd been on an anti-depressant called amitriptyline since July 2005 as I had depression then (caused by the MS, apparently), and I had come off it in February 2007 because, well, you don't want to be on an anti-depressant if you can help it, do you? We worked out together that the brain fog days had started around the time I'd come off the drugs, so she suggested I go back on them as the one I'd been on did actually stop brain fog and emotional ups and downs that you get with MS. So I did.

I started on a really low dose (25mg) and have never increased it further as it's had the desired effect. I still get brain fog days, but they are a lot less severe and I can get on with my day pretty much untroubled. I'm aware things are not quite as sharp as normal when I'm having a brain fog day, but that's about it - nothing to worry about, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being open to sharing your wife's experiences with MS through your eyes. So many people need this kind of support. I have not been labeled yet, but I have found arnica cream (homeopathic) helps reduce the color and inflammation from the bruising.

God bless you both.


Anonymous said...

Hi, i was diagnosed with MS when i was 15... Im 19 right now and my bruises are out of control im a girly girl and i like to wear shorts but when i see these bruises on me i freak out and get depressed and ive never heard about MS people having bad bruises and everytime just like your wife i would do a check up and im OK its frustrating but i guess a girl like me is gonna have to get use to this bruising thing... But i would like to say thank you to you and your wife u have opened my mind alittle bit in making myself not feel alone with MS...and be strong because i know god will give us a cure! :)

Cory said...

Hey Anonymous, I am so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with MS at such a young age. My wife was diagnosed closer to the age you are at now, and I know she has had some of the same frustrations as you. Thanks for sharing and please know that you are not alone and that there are others out here that are going through some of the same things. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm 26 started having tingling and numbness three years back. Had problems walking . my first doctor wrote a letter for medical leave school wise. He checked me for everything. In between doctor visits I would always go to er for falling, nines numbness in legs, and bowel problems. After one year of ruling it irritable bowel syndrome I ask him to give me an MRI because I felt it was ms. He denied me an MRI told me to get second opinion if I didn't like it. In process of seeking medical help second v time my symptoms progressed. Eyes very sensitive to light, numbness spreading, bruises all over, severe lower back pain. Took another year to get MRI done with second hospital who finally diagnosed me with ms but never explained what it was not treated my symptoms that keep getting worst. Now I moved to Brooklyn am now 26 and doctors believe I have progressive multiple sclerosis and are expediting the process of treatment but note I barely can walk, my head hurts really bad I cry, my lower back really hurts and they still have me traveling to appointments when the heat shots lshuts my body down. And light blinds me. What can I do?