Monday, November 16, 2009

All about positive changes....because there aren't any negative ones

OK. So reluctanct to talk about anything positive Lew will finally talk about (dare I do it?) some positive changes that I simply can't ignore. It's that whole "Awakenings" and "Flowers for Algernon" thing and also because I had such a major letdown with the Tovaxin vaccine. That was my fault, but it still sucked. Well as you guys know I can be windier than a bag of assholes, so I am just going to briefly describe some of the things that are going good.

Even though my shoulder is all screwed up AND I'm out of shape because I haven't lifted in a loooong time, I'm able to bench more, curl more and tricep curl more. I'm sure it would be there in military press and pull downs also, but my shoulder is still impeding that. But the most awesome part is in the area of coordination (we're still on the Bowflex here!). I have the leg extension attachment. The leg extensions don't require much coordination. You just sit down and put your legs behind the bar and straighten them out. It's the hamstring curls. Before the surgery I was not even doing that one because of the dexterity involved in laying flat on a slim surface, putting my legs straight out behind me, and getting all situated. I simply could not do it. I have been doing it for about a month now, and I haven't even had to lift my left leg up with my hand! That is major. I could barely lift my left leg with my own muscles past where it needed to be to go up stairs (which have also gotten easier)

Big deal #2. The airports. On my way out to my first procedure I had my Mom and she pushed me everywhere. I could still walk short distances, but no way could I even make it to the gate area of the tiny Dayton airport by myself. I probably could have if I sat and rested halfway. The second time, I absolutely needed my cane and had a pronounced limp. There were times I didn't use it, but on the longer jaunts I did, and I was always limping. The third time I didn't even take my cane. What can I say about that? I mean I didn't limp or anything. I was completely tuckered out after going to my gate in the Houston airport, but I never limped.

Big deal #3. I'm not limping at all anymore. My knee has quit screaming at me, which means my spasticity is going down. This is huge. Now I still can't run a marathon (Ha!), but on my walk Saturday I "jogged" very slowly for about the last 100 yards (It was in my boots to; which I'm sure looked VERY cool). I just can't deny that things are changing. I've never, ever been superstitious, but I don't want to jinx myself! Not with this. No chances, but it's been a while now that these things have been happening. I'm sure my host in California, Kelly, can attest to the difference in me from the first to the last trip. Man my buddy Doug married a cool chick. I love you Kelly!

I still definitely have MS symptoms. Heat still affects me adversely. I still get dizzy and my vision still gets foggy, but I recover so much faster it's not even funny. I don't know if this is the answer or not; especially since I've been progressive for a while and there is pre-existing damage. But it's a large part of it. Of that I have no doubt now. When I'm at rest, and don't have to pee :-), I almost feel normal. This is all so cool I don't even know where to begin. I've had this shit so long now that I don't even dream that I'm healthy anymore. This is going to be a short update with hopefully many more to come. I'm hitting the PT as hard as my shoulder will let me, and we just joined a gym so I could try out all the different equipment before I choose a piece to buy for the home. I was dead set on an elliptical, but thought I'd better give it a shot to see if I could handle it. We're going tomorrow and instead of being intimidated, I'm elated! I haven't felt this good in a while. I worked out tonight after a full day of work. Looking back just a few short months, that would have never happened; it was only on the weekends, and even then I absolutely dreaded it.

Until next time with hopefully more to tell, but I've been working on the "A" word, so even if I'm stuck right here I'll be ok. But somehow I think better things are to come. That, in and of itself, is a huge step for me. To look to the future, just that, to think to the future.


  1. You know I love reading this, Lew. Jeff really likes our elliptical machine, and we've also got a voit home weight machine plus free weights. He feels good working up a sweat again. Have fun shopping for the machines. I think the spasticity loosening up is going to make a huge difference. Keep healing, Lew. xoxo, Joan

  2. Hi Lew,
    I've stumbled on your blog in my search for more info on CCSVI treatment. I've been sitting here reading it from your first entry and haven't been able to walk away until I read every post!
    I'm 38yr/f and was dx'd 7/2007, but feel it's been going on long before dx, just had doctors that weren't taking my symptoms seriously and consequently was dx'd with depression and offered anti-dep pills.
    I won't go into my symptoms and challenges with MS but I will say that I'm in ok shape compared to many. Your blog entry about the A word really struck a chord with me as I've been thinking about this alot lately. You see here in Canada it may take awhile before we have any access to testing and ultimately treatment and I, like many others, am up against a clock because although my dx hasn't been long I had a relapse that started on Sept. 12 and many symptoms have stuck around. This is where the A word is starting to come into play and the D word (denial) has found it's way out! So not only am I dealing with acceptance of what may be permanent,also how long I'll have before the opportunity to try the treatment.
    I applaud you for sharing your story and being so honest about it all. You've got a great way of expressing what alot of us MSers are feeling! I look forward to reading your next post. God speed in your healing.
    PS - your words of being windier than a bag of assholes "cracked" me up :-) It appears that I share the same condition too!

  3. Kerry,

    It is interesting that if the CCSVI stuff proves out fully, people with MS won't have to go through the struggle you did to get a diagnosis since it may well be possible to do that now by looking at your veins.

    That alone would be a major advance.


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