Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 2009: Nurse, Needles, and kNowledge

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for the amazing uplift we have received in the past few days. I have cried, felt elevated & supported, and thankfully even laughed. I think I will have some time tomorrow to try to personally respond to each one.

I am relieved to say that yesterday went a lot better than I had expected. Mike's nurse, Joann, was a very pleasant woman who was very easy to talk to and I truly believe will be accessible and approachable through our journey together. I gained so much more knowledge about MS from her and am very thankful.

My biggest question was what does the medication do. The medication is actually a protein that already exists in our body not a foreign chemical. This protein will help to decrease further damage inflicted by his immune cells on his nerve cells. Once damage has been done, it cannot be repaired. That is what most of the research on MS is trying to find, something that can repair these damaged nerves. So the things currently affecting him like not being able to swallow solid food and increasing difficulty walking may not go away, but future problems may be decreased or delayed.

I had no idea the effect heat played in MS. Heat causes inflammation in Mike's brain which speeds up the attack on his nerve cells. He has to be sooo careful about being in heat. The only good thing that may come out of this is that Disneyland gives those with MS and their group a fast pass to the front of the line because they cannot be standing out in the heat. So Mike may become even more popular with the visiting crowd:-).

Heat is also the biggest cause of fatigue in MS. The nurse explained to me that fatigue for those with MS is not just being tired. Fatigue is exhaustion, not being able to move, and your brain telling you to lay down. I have watched Mike be increasingly exhausted over the past months, even in this past week. Joann gave me a good reminder that even though Mike may look normal, to remember that he is exhausted. Mike does a good job of trying to convince me he is "normal" or "just fine". I love that he is a fighter though, and an optimistic one at that.

The things Mike needs to be constant with to delay any new flare-ups are:
  • keep building muscle
  • a healthy diet-this is a tough one for him since he can't eat - includes vitamin supplements
  • stay cool-also tough in our 100'+ weather but we may be able to get a lower rate with Edison
  • stay hydrated
  • good sleep-he has to go to bed at the same time every night
  • medication
  • follow up with Dr. & lab work - since medicine reduces his white blood count
Joann showed us both how to do his injections. I have to admit that this was tough, me being a needle-phobe. I had to look away while she showed him how to do it without the injector. It was a breeze for Mike since on his mission for our church in Hong Kong he gave himself and other missionaries shots for two years. They have him started on a very low dose which I am happy to say has affected him very little. I hope this will continue to be the case as the dosage increases. Mike attributes this to your prayers in our behalf and the power of Christ's priesthood through a blessing given to him on Sunday. I thank you again and look forward to reporting more good news in the future.

1 comment:

  1. We love you guys and will continue to always keep you and your family in our prayers and thoughts.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...