Showing posts from 2011

Post Christmas Update

We hosted Christmas dinner this year...for 12 guests.  The first time in my entire adult life I have had that many people in our little house at one time, let alone sitting down for dinner!  Thankfully, my mom was staying over to help.  Christmas Eve day was spent cleaning, organizing and prepping for Christmas Day.  Got up at 8am and basically was on the go until 7 pm when we sat down and watched one of my favourite musicals, The Sound of Music.  Surprisingly, I was not really tired, although my legs were protesting a bit. 

Had to get up at 7 the next morning to start the 20lb turkey that was almost too big for my oven. (definitely a bit tense in the kitchen) and then basically was on the go being the supreme hostess until everyone left at 8pm that night.  Dinner was a successful affair...yes!

Amazingly, I was feeling good and my legs did not feel any different than they usually do, despite the extra stress and activity I was subjecting them to.  Even after eating some forbidden foo…

Liberation procedure update I went in on the 15th of December to have the 'liberation procedure' done at the Vascular Access Center in Seattle.  Dr. McGuckin did not perform the procedure, rather his associate Dr. Kirsch, did.  Coincidentally, Dr. Kirsch is a friend of Dr. Vogel, who performed my initial 'liberation procedure' in Germany, last year.  It was interesting to listen to his comments about what Dr. Vogel did or did not do. :P

So, after thoroughly checking the renal, iliac, inferior vena cava, superiour vena cava, azygous and both jugular veins, they found I had 80% blockage in my left jugular close to a valve near the collarbone and 50% blockage in my right jugular, in pretty much the same spot.  Dr. Kirsch used a 14mm balloon to dilate both veins, successfully.  I'm curious as to what size balloon is used most often, as Dr. Vogel only used an 8mm balloon...and let me tell you...I felt the difference!

I was a bit disappointed that they didn't find any blockages in the i…

May-Thurner Syndrome

When I was speaking with the intake nurse from Vascular Access Center and relaying to her my MS symptoms, she asked me if I had ever been tested for May-Thurner Syndrome.  My reaction was pretty much the same as everyone else..."what is that?...never heard of it?"

According to Dr. McGuckin (surgeon at VAC) he is finding that 70% of the patients he treats for CCSVI have May-Thurner Syndrome. (go figure?!) Main symptoms are pain and swelling of the legs and is caused by the right iliac artery compressing the left iliac vein as it crosses over it. 

I find this fascinating, as again, we have a possible circulatory problem contributing to what we have always imagined was an MS symptom. 

Fortunately, Dr. McGuckin routinely checks for May-Thurner Syndrome when he checks for CCSVI.  Who knows, maybe I'm one of the 70%.  I will find out tomorrow!

Round 2 Coming Up

Well, I went and did it!  Booked my appointment with the Vascular Access Center in Seattle for my second "liberation" procedure.  It was my hair stylist, Tarise, who actually got me to make the call.  It's been in the back of my mind for a while now, but not until I had one of our enlightening conversations, did I finally acknowledge (out loud) to Tarise, that this is what I really wanted to do. 

I'm scheduled for the procedure on the 15th of December.  This works out well for me, because it gives me until the New Year before I have to go back to work.  And I am so hoping that I will be able to do that...I miss my students. :((

Unlike the first time, I have no expectations whatsoever...I think I'm afraid to have any.  If I have veins that need to be fixed, I will get them fixed so that my body can, perhaps, focus on healing some of the damage that's been done (which I see as more of a long term process). 

It's my Christmas …

The Bottom Line

I wanted to add this last bit to my previous post, as this is what I really believe is going on.
I truly believe the body can and does heal itself.  However, it can't do it very well when it also has to deal with things in the body that are wrong.  Until I correct what is wrong within my body, I will not see the kind of significant improvements I am hoping for.  Fix what is wrong, and then the body can devote all its energy and resources to healing the damage that's been done.The bottom line is:   Have the CCSVI procedure to fix the vein issues so that the body can then utilize everything I'm already doing (diet, supplements, acupuncture, physio, massage, etc) to heal the damage!

Moving Forward

The past week has been an interesting one for me.  I attended the Global CCSVI conference that was held last Sunday/Monday and was able to listen and reflect on what a number of the presenters had to say regarding CCSVI.  A huge thank you to the volunteers from the National CCSVI organization for putting together such a fabulous event.  For me, it came at just the right time...I was feeling quite discouraged about my health, and this conference, along with what I've been doing with the acupuncture, has totally reinvigorated me to push forward!

I'm feeling as if there's been a shift in my thinking and that another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place for me.  Whatever it is, I welcome it and would like to share some possible connections/questions/comments I have been making this past week.
The TCM 'intervention' seems to be helping.  In the past week, my entire lower leg has actually stayed fairly warm to the touch, a thing unheard of the past few weeks, nay...…


I've really been re-evaluating these past few days what I'm doing as far as diet and supplements go.  Not being able to drive, or at least not being able to drive safely, has scared the 'bejeebers' out of me because not being able to drive has so many implications.  Foremost is not being able to drive to work (I have a 50km commute) and just the lack of the sense of freedom that driving brings just leaves me feeling scared.

So, I've been doing a lot of re-reading of books that have been helpful to me in the past and looking at health articles on the web.  One thing I wanted to share was Dr. Andrew Weil's "Seven Strategies of Successful Patients" from his book, Spontaneous Healing.  In it, he identifies 7 common strategies that patients who experienced spontaneous healing used.  They are:
Do Not Take "No" For An answerActively Search for HelpSeek Out Others Who Have Been HealedForm Constructive Partnerships with Health ProfessionalsD…

TCM Intervention

I was feeling really frustrated this past week, as I was beginning to think that I may be having a relapse?  Haven't had one since the CCSVI procedure, don't really want to believe that's what it is...but the evidence seemed to be pointing in that direction...right time of year, sudden worsening of numbness in feet/legs, very cold extremeties, and increased spasticity in my legs which has made it very scary to drive at the moment and has me wall walking/wall bouncing a lot of the time!  Aargh!! :(

I went to my scheduled Acupuncture appointment yesterday, hoping that I would find some relief/help.  Now, I've been seeing Vanessa regularly for about five months now, mostly for Acupuncture, but we've been introducing Chinese herbal remedies into my 'healing regime' the past couple of months.  Yesterday, when I told her I suspected that I might be having a relapse and gave her my reasons why I thought that, she immediately went into what I now refer…

Do you Voodoo?

Well, it's been quite some time since my last blog entry.  But as I like to say, "Better late than never!"

The Bioness trial was a bust.  (See Bionic Woman entry). I was so sensitive to the electrical stimulation, that the physio and I felt it would be a good idea to stop, take a break, and revisit it during the summer. I had some other things going on at the same time that was causing some stress which = worsening symptoms...(my dad has prostrate cancer, he broke his hip, and then we found out he had a number of other serious health issues and was given 6 months to live...a bit much to handle all at once).

Anyways, enough of that.  I wanted to write about my newest experiment...Acupuncture! The literature I've been reading about acupuncture gives it mixed reviews.  Some say that it may work in relieving some symptoms, but the majority recommend NOT using acupuncture as it may stimulate an already overactive immune system.  That's all fine and dandy, if you beli…

Just Call Me the Bionic Woman

I finally made an appointment to see my only took me 8 months after my angioplasty to do it.  I was hoping that I would see some improvement in my walking, but unfortunately, that isn't happening...yet.  So I've been reluctant to go to the physio clinic because the improvements aren't very visible.  I know that's a really silly reason NOT to go...and in retrospect, I should have gone immediately after the angio, but hindsight is 20/20!

Funny thing is, when I came through the doors of the clinic, Heather (my physiotherapist) thought I was walking a bit better?? News to me...but then again, I've had other people comment on my walking??  Maybe I'M being too critical??  Maybe they're seeing something I'm not?!

Anyways, I have a new plan.  I've been doing the diet/supplement and complementary therapy piece for a while now and am comfortable with I'm adding the physio/fitness piece.  Really, it's long overdue and I m…

Legs?!...don't fail me now!

I've been having some issues with spasticity in my legs.  It seems to be getting worse???? :(  Very frustrating since everything else seems to be, either the same, or better.  I can still walk as far as before, but I feel like I am working's hard to explain why...just, that if I walk too fast, my legs can't seem to 'coordinate' and I fear stumbling (actually I sometimes do stumble).  And then I have to concentrate on staying balanced.  I'm just not smooth anymore...and I miss being smooth.

I went to see my neuro a couple of weeks ago to get the results of the MRI I had in January.  Seems, whatever I have been doing is preventing those nasty T-cells (?) from passing through the blood-brain barrier, because I have no enhancing lesions! Yeah!  My neuro attributed it to the medication she thought I was still on (I guess the MS nurses forgot to mention that I had gone off Copaxone last year!). When I told her I wasn't on Copaxone, she asked me 3 time…


Yesterday, our school district had their annual Pro-D day.  When I signed up for the Yoga for Kids workshop I was feeling pretty good.  Unfortunately, the past week (OK, maybe the past 3 weeks) I have not been feeling up to 'snuff', especially my legs...number, stiffer, weaker...:(

I convinced myself that this would be good for me.  Isn't Yoga supposed to be good for us MSer's??  My real concern was the balance part because with the increased numbness my balance has been more 'off' than 'on'.  Well the room had a ballet bar and I made a point of letting the instructor know I had balance issues. (I wasn't in the mood to tell her I had MS...just yet)  The problem with having to position myself near the ballet bar was that it was in the front of the class and had a full length mirror along the wall.  So not only could everyone see me...I could see everyone being able to see me! Greeaatt :(

I actually did pretty good.  Yes, there were some poses I could…