Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some positive changes and some really bad judgement

Well it's my two week anniversary of the surgery. It feels longer than that, but it's not. There have been some positive changes that I definitely want to post about because they have taken place in my "100% symptoms". Those reading with MS know what I'm talking about here. Since this disease is characterized by good and bad days in terms of level of function, there are some days where you can do more than others. But we also know that there are those symptoms that are always there no matter how good or bad you feel. For me two of those are my eyesight and my balance and coordination. Every time I get hot, my eyes go foggy. It looks EXACTLY like this: http://mult-sclerosis.org/opticneuritis.html . I mean exactly. The car on the right is when I'm not hot, or even warm, and the car on the left is when I'm hot. It does vary in terms of intensity with how hot I am, but it's never not been there. Not one single time in 8 years. Well this post is all about both a positive change and this is also where the poor judgement comes in. By the way, if that link doesn't work, just type it in; what are you lazy!

So my wife is planting about a 20 x 20 flower bed and the ground needs to be tilled. My good buddy has a nice tiller that he will let me borrow, so I volunteer to go get it. I would have asked him to deliver it a few months ago and that's the truth. So I get it home, we get it off the truck via ramp and I get set to show my wife how to operate this big boy safely. Well after I have her pull the start cord (not supposed to do too much with the right arm since that's the sore side, duh) I decide to demonstrate how to horse it around a bit and was just taken aback that I could even do it. My wife was kind of slack jawed and telling me to not continue, but she's amazed also. So I do the whole damn thing. It took about 45 minutes and it was in the direct sunlight and was in the low 80's temperature wise. Well I'm covered in sweat, and guess what? I could see just fine. I mean not even a little fogginess. Now my legs were absolute toast, but I didn't care, I could see and was hotter than a firecracker. Plus, I do really poorly on uneven ground, and I was MAKING uneven ground and walking all over it and not falling over. It was awesome. My legs even recovered rather quickly and I was very, very happy about all of this. So it ends up being a great day. I took a walk later in the day (that would never have happened a little while ago) and I was never dizzy the whole day (that has happened, but rarely, and never when coupled with this strenuous of activity). That is also my almost constant companion. And then later in the evening at bedtime? Let your mind wander but no pharmacologicals were required, 'nuff said.

Before I get into how that was really stupid, I want to talk about changes that I've noticed in my balance. When I go up stairs, I just kind of fall into the right side wall and rub all the way up. It's either that or have two tracks up both sides from my hands because I don't do stairs with out holding onto a wall, a rail, or on all fours. My wife is the one that pointed this out to me. I have just been going right up the middle for about a week now. And I also don't do the 'one stair shuffle' where you just do one stair at a time with both feet being on each tread before you do the next one. I've been doing them like normal for about a week. And I've been dizzy far less often. This is all really good stuff for me. Oh, and I haven't had an 'accident' since the surgery. Not even at naptime which is a bad time for that. So I am seeing some things in the areas that aren't just me looking for stuff to get better. I can't will my eyes not to go foggy. I haven't been able to will much of anything for a while.

So now the stupid part. I am so sore in my head and neck it's not even funny. I even broke down and took a percocet, but I coupled it with some nausea medicine and it actually didn't make me that ill. So I'll pay for that, but hopefully only for a day or two. Last night my head and neck hurt so bad it was like a couple days after the surgery. I'm typing this, so hopefully I just made myself sore and didn't aggravate anything. Why do I do shit like that? I was doing so good taking it slow, and taking "baby steps" as I know I should; taking multiple short walks to keep the legs moving and not lifting anything. Well I wasn't lifting the tiller, but people who have used one know it's not exactly mowing the lawn. It must be something in my psyche; "hey this doesn't hurt! Let's overdo the hell out of something!" Not wise and I'm pretty upset with myself, but hopefully it abates today. Like I said, I'm typing this, so it probably was just sore, but last night that dude really hurt. I am not returning to work until Monday of next week, so hopefully I get "unsore" and can post more good stuff; that is of course if things keep going in that direction.


  1. Great news!

    It's natural mate to get carried away.

    I've had to slow Mel down a lot with things too - I guess its like being in prison for 8 years for you, any slight freedom you're bound to go crazy like a sailor on shore leave.

    Thus ends the (crap) analogies.

    Some really good improvements there, improved heat tolerance and decreased vision problems seem to be common threads for those that suffered from those issues.

    Lew - have you read the book The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge?

    If not I highly recommend it - it will inspire you to keep trying.


  2. Lew I am so happy for you... this is what I was wanting to hear - that this surgery was WORTH IT! That it is helping your MS and you are actually seeing improvement of symptoms. That is so encouraging man I can't even explain it. I'm sure you just overdid it.. (tisk tisk) ;) But who wouldn't want to when it's so encouraging to be able to?! Hopefully the soreness will subside. Keep us posted!!

  3. Please do not overdue. You have healing with the stents and all. You don't want to mess things up. That could not have been good for you to jolt your head and neck around.

  4. I'm done with the overdoing. I think I learned my lesson! Just sore today, but functioning very well and taking REALLY short little walks, but in the heat!


  5. Hey Lew, at Nell's and just reading this with her. I am sooo psyched that you are have these positive signs. This is the best news ever!!! Wish you were here you could go to the beach with us :-)

    Sorry just posting now but couldn't get it to work. Love you so much. Calli says big hi to Sarah. Give Brenda a kiss for me (and anything else you want to give her but that's not from me) haha Love Nikki

  6. Hey Lew, since you are the king of remembering movie lines, remember this one from Austin Powers. The next time you decide to over do it just say " How bout No Scott!"
    You made our day with the new direction the surgery has taken you.
    I know that all the prayers have guided you through this journey Enjoy your family because I know they enjoy you. We love you all.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.Ccsvi cure


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