Sunday, December 28, 2008

MS Remission or Coincidence

Over a year ago I decided to look around for a good Multiple Sclerosis forum to post some of the thoughts I had on MS. I read articles and posts for a few months before I settled on a MS forum that I felt would be open to alternative care and treatment. I began to post a few thoughts to see how it would be received and everything went OK. After a few months I started a post about my wife being treated at a clinic with IV therapy and other treatments. I received a few good comments on the post and then I received one that really puzzled me.

One of the readers commented that she didn't think that what we were doing really helped. She felt like it could be explained as the MS going into remission or really good timing. I wrote back that we had done this many times over and every time the treatment worked and my wife became better. She still wasn't convinced and it has bothered me ever since. Multiple Sclerosis is a very funny disease because it will go into remission. What we have experienced over time is that we have more control over the disease than we first thought. Over the years, most of the stuff we read and doctors we spoke with told us that we were really helpless and that the disease would just run it's course. My wife says I am stubborn, and for once I am glad that is true. I was stubborn enough to not listen and find our own truth.

So, was her MS in remission or was it a coincidence that she became better? If you ask her she will tell you that she knows for a fact that what we have done has helped her. If you ask her family, which by the way has an ER Doctor, a Pharmacist and an Anesthetist in it, they will also tell you that it has helped. We have all seen her completely numb and then up and walking after a few treatments. We have seen her in total pain or completely dizzy and once she is adjusted by our chiropractor, she immediately is better. I have watched her have bladder issues and after one Bowen treatment, the issues are gone. It is amazing to watch and most of the doctors are amazed. What is really amazing is how few of the doctors have ever suggested or encouraged any of the things we have done.

I hope and pray that more MS sufferers decide to take matters into their own hands and learn about the disease they have. I honestly believe that most MS patients could live a more normal life by taking more control of their treatment plan and options. There is so much out there that we don't know about Multiple Sclerosis but there are also so many things that we do. Once my wife and I started listening to her body better, and studying and learning, we started to realize that we could make a difference. Was it remission or coincidence? There is no question in my mind that what we have done has had a direct impact on my wife's health, and it wasn't remission or coincidence, it was treatment.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis Attacks Fast

Within an hour my wife's right side had gone tingley and numb. She awoke to a normal Sunday and showered and dressed as usual. There was nothing out of the norm happening to her body that morning. She did have a slight headache when she woke up, but it was gone after she was awake for awhile. We drove to church as usual and sat in our normal seats. About half way through the service, my wife said she felt an odd feeling in her back along the right side. By the end of the church service, her right ear tingled, her right leg was numb, her right arm ached and the right side of her back was tingling, aching and some parts were already numb.

We were set to leave out of town the next day so we had to figure something out fast. Her right side became worse as the day went on and her arm ached badly. We felt like a chiropractic visit would reverse the issue, but it was not a day our chiropractor was open. We called him anyway, and he felt like it was urgent enough to meet us at the office and adjust her on Sunday. When we met him at his office, the chiropractor checked her alignment and adjusted her spine using his Pro Adjuster equipment. Her neck was way out of alignment and her lower back needed adjustment and some muscle work. While being adjusted, she could feel the feeling come back into her right side. Within minutes, her right side began to return to normal and she could feel the difference.

We left the chiropracter's office and my wife was quite sore. Her lower back ached for a few days but all symptoms were gone by the next day. She had all feeling back and there was no aching in her arm. We drove for 8 hours the next day and she had no problems. It is amazing to me how her body can react so quickly to something when it seems like things are only going to get worse. Just 7 years ago, we would have let the attack run it's course and she probably would have been completely numb from the chest down. I am so glad we chose to learn and search out our own treatment path. She is doing fine now and was great all through the Christmas week. We owe a HUGE thanks to Dr. Kevin Atchley in Albuquerque for coming to his office on his day off to help my wife. THANKS!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Alternative Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

My wife and I have spent the last six years researching and trying different alternative therapies for MS. We have worked with Naturopathic Doctors, Chiropractors, Multiple Sclerosis Specialists and a host of other therapists to try and figure out the puzzle of my wife's MS. We have found many treatments that work, and are still seeking specific treatments for specific symptoms.

I am going to try and give some specifics over the next few posts to allow others to see what has worked for us and what hasn't. We have found certain treatments that seem to stop attacks, and other treatments that reverse attacks. We are always looking for more options and will be seeking out a new doctor this coming year to learn and grow more. Hopefully through the network we have established we will draw closer to a way of life that will best help my wife.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cold To The Bone With MS

Multiple Sclerosis usually acts up with heat. Many MS sufferers seem to have issues when they get overheated, and my wife sometimes is affected by heat when she overworks her body. The other side of that coin is the cold. She can physically ache when she gets cold, and it seems to take forever for her to heat back up. I have spoken with a few doctors and they mentioned something about core tempature problems.

When she gets really cold or really hot, the doctors have said her core temp changes and that it is much more difficult to regulate the core. So, when she becomes really cold, sometimes I will find her in a hot bath, under an electric blanket or huddled under a lot of blankets with multiple layers of clothing. Sometimes she will ache extremely bad. Once her core is regulated she stops hurting and she begins to feel more normal. This is very frustrating for her when she is having issues and has to turn the A/C or heat on high in the car to quit hurting.

We have taken many tests over the years for many different things and I have wondered what exactly is affecting her that would cause her core to change temp. One thing we came across quite a few years ago was a hormone panel. She showed the classic signs of her adrenals being shot and overworked, and many other hormones out of balance. She tried hormone creams to correct these issues and seemed to have some success with them. One thing the doctor told us about her hormones was that they were part of what regulated the water in your body. He went on to tell us that water can affect your core temp. When your dehydrated it can cause lots of issues, and the more research and testing we did, we quickly found out that she was dehydrated. I am not sure if this is what is causing the extremes in core temp, but I do know that it seemed like she did better when she was drinking plenty of water. For now, we will continue to keep an eye on everything and try to keep her from going to either extreme.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Can You Still Walk?

The last few years has shown me how little our closest friends and family really understand Multiple Sclerosis. I realize that I have studied and understand the disease, but neither one of us really knew how little they understood. A few months back we had a family member ask if Michelle could still walk. I kinda thought that was an odd question since she has been running around with kids at the Children's Home for months now. I have come to realize that they see the disease as something that consistently progresses, and don't realize that the majority of MS sufferers live out a fairly normal life.

I have tried to explain how MS works to my family and they seem to understand until she has an attack. Since she was diagnosed in 1990, she has had a lot of years to learn how it affects her body and what to expect. About two years ago she was having a lot of issues and we were unsure of what to do. After talking with our families, they just felt like the disease was going to progress and that we needed to just accept the fact that she was getting worse. We felt like there was something else causing the issues, so we started weeding out different variables to see what it was. We soon learned that it was the environment where we lived. The toxins in the air from the oilfield work surrounding us was making her have more issues. Once we moved, she immediately felt better and she was back to her normal self.

Through that experience I guess I finally realized that my family was expecting her to just get worse some day. They thought that since she was getting older that her MS would progress. I don't guess I have every thought of it that way since we spoke with Dr. Swank so many years ago. His success rate for MS patients leading a normal life was off the charts and we knew that my wife's chances were great. Neither of us expect her illness to progress, but it could. We are already planning for those issues, but are not going to live our lives in fear of what might happen. For now we will continue to try and educate our families about the disease and try to help them see that she is doing great and will continue to as long as we take care of her illness.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Leg Pain In Multiple Sclerosis

We have been fortunate that my wife has not had the extent or the intensity of pain that others have felt with their Multiple Sclerosis. She has had some pain, but it usually lasts a short time and is rarely more than a nuisance. Over the last week, she has had pain off and on in her left leg. It usually hits at the end of the day after a lot of walking or stress. It seems to run up the side of her leg into her hip, and just aches. It has gone on for a few days now, and we have a chiropractic appointment this week to see if that will take care of it.

While we were at our families home for Thanksgiving, the pain increased and my wife began to drag her leg a little. Most of the time she can hide her pain and issues without anyone knowing, but this time it was more evident than usual. The strange thing about MS is that you can be in pain one minute and not feel it a few minutes later. This happened while we were at her parents. She was limping and having issues during the day, but by that night the pain was gone. MS is so strange in how it can do that. She did nothing different that day to make the pain go away, but was able to sleep well that night.

The leg pain was bad enough that it had been disrupting her sleep. For days she had been taking pain meds and putting heat on her leg to be able to sleep. We are not sure what started the pain, but we are glad that it has lessened. With our work schedule, we are on our feet much of the day. We have been blessed that my wife has been able to work 24/7 at our Children's Home for 6 months now without any major issues. This has been one of the few problems that has occured, and probably could have been halted early if we could have seen the chiropractor.