Dawna Austin

Well, it's been a pretty rough last few days. Well, I guess in the scheme of things, not too rough, compared to having an MS attack, but still not what I had expected. Two nights ago, when I went to bed, I wasn't feeling very well -- kinda light-headed and overall a feeling of oddity. (My husband would argue that that is just who I am .. odd). It was almost as though I was getting a flu, but it was different, an achy type of feeling but more like it was achy in my blood, an ache flowing through my body rather than in my joints.

Yesterday, I just stayed in my PJ's and did what I needed to do to parent the three little ones. I felt okay during the day, but enough that I needed to sit and rest the day through. But by late afternoon, I started to feel weaker and more "off". I asked my hubby to bring dinner to me in bed, as I just didn't think I had the energy to get up with the rest of the family for dinner. I went to bed early and hoped for a better day. Unfortunately, it was a restless sleep and by 3am I figured it was time for me to get this checked. I had no idea if my angioplasty was causing issues in my body, infections or complications. In the Polish clinic, I received no list of possible complications or what to do expect post-procedure nor lists of what to do or not do, etc. So I truly was on my own. I decided the fastest possible way to sort out how I was feeling was to go to Emergency and get all tests done at one time. If you go to your doctor, all "answers" will take much longer as you then go for tests and then back to your doctor for the results.

At 3am, the hospital emergency department (in theory) should be less busy. Besides, I wasn't sleeping anyway and this way I could possibly get back home before my husband would have to leave for work. I couldn't see myself bringing my three little kids to the hospital with me for hours.

It was a bit of a wait at the hospital, however, so my theory of being quick was short-lived. I guess it could have been worse, however. I did end up getting out by 8:30am. The long story short is this: They did blood tests, tested my urine for blood, and did a good physical check for any complications post-angioplasty. Of course, the doctor was NOT impressed that I would have done such a "risky" procedure. He had never heard of CCSVI and was visibly shocked by the concept of it and at one point shook his head in dismay at my decision. He asked if my neurologist was on board (which mine is). Not sure if he believed me on that one. He proceeded to tell me of all the complications that could happen. When he turned away for a minute, the nurse whispered to me, "Good for you for taking your health into your own hands!" At least someone was on my side!

In his checkup of my body, he lifted my shirt to check my stomach and looked a little shocked at all the puncture wounds and bruises. "Oh", I said "I forgot to tell you that I'm taking heparin every day for a total of 7 doses, and today is my last day". He then proceeded to tell me (with a slight giggle), "that" type of information is slightly crucial for him to know. Oops! Chalk one up for my good memory. As it stands, I've gained a few small lumps at the incision site, and I was going to ask about those too but completely forgot to ask! Oops again!

It took hours to wait for the blood tests. When the doctor came back, he said everything was fine except that it showed Leukopenia..a low white blood count. He didn't offer any explanation for it, other than that I should get it checked with my doctor next week with more blood tests to monitor it. Never a dull moment in my body! I did a little bit of research and it looks like there might be some connection with taking prednisone and exhibiting leukopenia, but that's just my uneducated opinion. (http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/prednisone/leukopenia)

He discharged me and I asked if they would be willing to give me my last heparin shot, explaining what a whimp I was with needles and how it would save my sister a trip to my house to administer it. He called a nurse over to do that for me. She took one look at the needle and said "Oh .. I hate those .. those are really dull". Apparently they use different needles in Canada and the ones given in Poland are quite dull. So, being told I had "tough skin" by all the people who injected me with those perhaps means that it was just the needle type, and not me! But Hallelujah.. I'm DONE with needles!!

So I left the hospital for home and of course had to bring a Starbucks STRONG coffee home for my hubby (there is a Starbucks in the lobby of our brand new hospital). So here I sit, still exhausted, and need to figure out a way to get energy for tonight, when my son is graduating in his cap and gown. Let's hope I can do it!

I mainly want people to know that this procedure isn't just a walk in the park, but I still think it is worth it. I am glad that I took this gamble at a life with increased ability. It's hard to not be disheartened when things like this cross your path, but I will press onward -- for my husband and my kids.

(UPDATE ON MY OTHER SYMPTOMS)
  • My hands are warm again. It was just two days ago where they fluctuated back and forth between cold and warm. Not sure why that is? 
  • I still don't have a limp, however my right knee (which was the problem when I was limping) does feel very weak today.  I must say, however, that I cannot see how my leg would not be weak as I haven't exercised in months and my muscle strength in my legs is very poor.  I think that with the weakness I feel the past few days that it would also translate to weakness in my knees.  But, I still am not limping.
  • Other people have mentioned color in my face.  I do not see it, but that's probably because I'm focusing on those stupid wrinkles which seem to pop up every day.  I highly recommend staying in your 30s!  :)
  • My legs, and especially my feet have been very hot feeling the past few days.  I am not sure if that means there is increased blood flow or what it is.  It is a different feeling than the burning tingling or zapping feeling of the MS attacks.
  • Still no improvement on my nasty bladder issues (always feel like I have to go, even though I don't) nor on the numbness in my right side and both hands.  Really hoping for improvement on those.
  • Brain fog?  That's a subjective issue which is hard to say if it is better or not. One would think that (while in the hospital) forgetting to mention the lumps at the procedure site would suggest that perhaps I still have brain fog.
I wish I could just go back to bed, but my little ones are calling.   What a blessing they are to me.  They keep me outward focused and stop me from feeling sorry for myself :)   How can one be depressed or sad when this smile constantly surrounds you with hugs and kisses?



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