Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good, Bad, Good, Huh?!?

First of all, people never cease to amaze me.
Here I am going through all this craziness and as I share my thoughts with the world, not only do my family and dear friends cheer me on with emails, phone calls and comments but then perfect strangers also send me their thoughts and well wishes! People are truly amazing.

Chris and I woke up early on Wed morning for MRI Take Two! I woke up at 6am, took my doctor-prescribed Ativan at 7am and by 8am I was telling the technician that I was planning to sing show tunes while I was inside the MRI machine! (The tech informed me it would be better if I did NOT sing show tunes. We finally compromised on me singing them in my head instead of outloud). No, I am not making this up! As I changed into my attractive cotton gown for the machine, Chris apologized to the tech informing him I was "high" on Ativan. The tech just laughed and said I wasn't the first! hehe. Frankly, I could care less if I made a complete fool of myself because I made it through the MRI! Yippee!!!

An hour and a half later (now slightly coming down off the Ativan!) we met with Dr. Thrower for the results of last week's blood work and of the MRI:

The Good: I have no new lesions in my brain! Yippee!!! Clean brain!!!!

The Bad: I do have a new inflamed (aka "active") lesion on my spinal cord. A lot of people don't realize that MS can cause lesions on both the brain and/or the spinal cord. And this week we discovered my first cord lesion. SO annoying and unpredictable this disease. This little bugger is in my neck area and it may or may not be responsible for the nerve pain in my left shoulder/arm that has been visiting ever since the summer. Sooo, that means the medicine I have been on isn't doing what we hoped it would (it is supposed to keep new lesions away, in theory). Sooo, I am in the process of switching from Betaseron to Copaxone. Hopefully by next week Aetna will have approved this new med and I will be on my way to switching over. I am nervous about it and a little scared, but optimistic that it will work better for me and jive with my body chemistry and keep me lesion-free for years to come!

The Good: My blood work came back normal, meaning the Sjogren's antibodies were negative, meaning as far as we can tell I do not have Sjogren's Syndrome. Yay! Still NO idea why my eyes gave up producing tears, but I am hopeful that this is all just a weird reaction to too many steroids and they will come back in time.

The Huh?!?: The MRI also showed that I have a bulging (herniated) disc in my neck between C6 and C7. Wh-what?!?! How random is that? I have NO idea how this happened, as it did not show on my MRI a year ago. Even more interesting is that there is a chance that this disc could be responsible for the nerve pain in my left arm! In the fight of the century, my spine lesion and my herniated disc are dueling it out for the title of "Nerve Pain Causer"! Dr. Thrower has recommended I start PT ASAP to try and get the disc to chill out. Stay tuned to see who wins this duel and claims the title!

Needless to say it has been an exhausting week. I had a good bawling cry Wed night about the whole thing and since then I am coming to terms with all the news and working my way through the 5 million emotions that come with it!

Again, thank you so much for all the love and support. It means so much and on the bad days is what keeps me going. I have hope for the new year. I truly believe 2009 is going to be a good one. I turn 30 this year. I am starting on a new medicine which I just know is going to help and make me feel better and keep the MonSter quiet. The economy is crap, true, but it is often in tough times when people pull together, lean on each other and do amazing things for one another.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on all the goods.

Having negative SSa and SSb does not mean that you do not have Sjogren's Syndrome. Many people with Sjogren's are negative to these antibodies.

One definitive test is a biopsy inside your lower lip usually done by an ENT or in some parts of the country by some dentists.

For more information on Sjogren's( the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease) see

Ryan's Dad said...

you know, you and chris are such an amazing couple. reading the ativan story i just picture the two of you going through this experience. for all the difficulties this road has brought, you guys sharing smiles and jokes is incredible.

also - high or not - i am glad you found a way to sing your songs. Don't ever stop.