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Old 05-24-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
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The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

Well, my body has given in to the stress in my life. I lost my brother just about a year ago. 3 weeks ago I had to bring his wife to a mental facility and take temporary custody of their 5 yr. old son. Last week I brought my mom to the ER for symptoms that have rendered her left arm useless, severe muscle weakness, muscle fascilations, severe fatigue. We though ALS, turns out she has MS, too.

All I can say is that every event has brought me extreme emotion and stress. I knew the stress was going to get to me, but how do you avoid it when your thrown feet first into those situations. Sure enough, the last few days I feel all sorts of weakness, my eyes feel week (like when nystagmus took hold during my first bout), my legs feel week and my calves feel like they have charley horses.

Other than relaxation, what other techniques do you use to help avert or manage and exacerbation. I'm so bummed. I was doing so well for the last 3 years. Avonex seemed to be working. I wish I could get a MRI. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 05-24-2009, 09:42 PM   #2
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Re: The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

Oh, I just wanted to say that I am sorry for what you are going through. That all would be terribly hard to deal with. I am in limboland and wonder the same question myself. I hope that you start to feel better soon.
Hang in there. I am sure someone with more knowledge than me will post soon.

 
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

The first thing to do is not to get down or blame yourself. There are some life incidents which are out of our control. Make an appointment with a masseuse and pamper yourself. You have a "long row to hoe", but you cannot if you are not healthy.

Get some stretching, relax in a pool, and take the time to read a nice book. I realize with a 5 year old it can be stressful. When I was really bad, my rehabilitation nurse told me that the Lego construction was relaxing and excellent exercise for my fingers and hands.

You might need to take a few days of doing nothing and trying to lower your stress levels. No pity parties and stay positive!!! Extra prayers going out for you and your family too.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

Anxious,
why cant you get an MRI? I get them twice a year and always feel like Im on top of knowing what is going on with me...
Excaberations happen. Its part of having MS. 3 years is a good amount of time to go feeling good- you should be pleased...but an MRI will tell you if new attacks are going on or if you are simply having an "off" week and are feeling terrible due to the stress
I like Jayhawks suggestion of having a masage or doing something to pamper yourself. You cant fix anyone else's problems, unless you take care of yourself.
Good luck.
Nikki
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:41 AM   #5
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Re: The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

anxiousme,

You have certainly had alot going on...I am sorry.

Two possibilities:

(1) you're not having an exacerbation, your body is simply saying enough and with some rest your symptoms will decrease.

(2) You are in fact having an exacerbation

The MRI is a great diagnositc tool, however, the MRI is not good at showing if you are having an exacerbation. You can be feeling fine, have a MRI and it shows active lesions. You could be having an exacerbation and the MRI shows no changes. MRIs do not tell the whole story of this disease nor does the MRI necessarily correlate with how you feel.

There is no way to avert or avoid having an exacerbation. You can take precautions and try to avoid the things that you know makes your MS worse. Unfortunately, we are not in control, MS is.

Although you are using Avonex you can still have exacerbations. The Disease Modifying Drugs (DMDs) are to HOPEFULLY decrease the amount and severity of exacerbations and to HOPEFULLY slow progression.

The question becomes - would you have gone 3 years without an exacerbation if you had not been using Avonex? Unfortunately, there is no answer. You might have had the same outcome even if you weren't using Avonex or one of the other DMDs. Or, you might have had more exacerbations had you not been on Avonex..

Managing exacerbations: rest, mild exercise as tolerated, medication that can help with the symptoms and/or steroids.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: The stress got to me..1st exacerbation since dx

Thank you all for your kind words. I spent the holiday weekend resting! I'm feeling a little better, still lots of tingling, pain here and there, leg weakness. I like all of your comments. We do have the best board for support. Cheers to all of you. Positive thoughts sent your way!

 
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