Dawna Austin
Fluctuating symptoms

As I sit here, an icy cold creeps up my right arm once again.  I am resolved to wait this out and chart what each day brings.  Today has been a much better day, physically, than yesterday.  I have only had a few bouts of cold arms -- the duration of the cold being much shorter and less severe than yesterday's.  I will take this as progress.

My devotional for today says this, which I find encouraging:
May today remind you that God has given you a fresh start, a new hope, and a heart filled with reasons to be thankful.
I have received feedback from other MS sufferers on this "up and down" of symptoms, and many have reported this happening to them post-procedure.  When writing to the clinic, asking if it is common to get better and worse, back and forth .. this was the response:

Doctors say you need to observe the symptoms for a longer period of time as organism needs to adapt.
So, not exactly the answer I was looking for, but all answers seem to point to one thing -- "wait".

My energy level is a bit higher today, and although my right arm still feels weak, overall I accomplished more than I have in months.   My problem with feeling better, however, is that I feel like I must do just that -- accomplish all that hasn't been accomplished in the past few months, and I tend to over do things.  So, REST is a great challenge for me.  Perhaps I should take off to Hawaii and rest for a month .. if only I could get a prescription from the doctor for that.

Insecurities

I had pondered earlier if MS sufferers (like me) ever feel like they are a drain on all the caregivers around them. Today was a good day for me .. someone that came over to visit me (with the intention of encouraging me) told me that they left feeling encouraged by me.  That was a good feeling -- to be able to somehow give to someone else, instead of that feeling that I am constantly taking from others.

CCSVI Treatment Locations

Today, I read of people being treated within the USA for CCSVI, and part of me felt sad that I couldn't be a part of that group -- how wonderful it would be to be treated in North America .. something more financially feasible and so much easier on your family!  Going to Europe not only means HUGE expense (flights, treatment, hotels, etc.) but also a long time away from your little children.  But, as I'm realizing, this whole uncharted area is filled with unanswered questions and the unknown.  So for me to question my decision to go to Poland, wondering if I should have waited and tried to get into the US .. it's something that I just can't allow myself to do.

Medical Follow-up

With respect to my low white blood cell count, my doctor sent me for blood work today to check my thyroid levels, as a first level of testing.  He didn't seem too worried about it. 

Inclined Bed Therapy

My next step is to try to refit our bed for inclined bed therapy.  I hear many others are being helped by this treatment .. and I want to try it for myself.  And as a bonus, I hear it even stops husbands from snoring!  That alone would be worth it :)

An interesting study that someone posted on what it's like for veins without the inclined bed therapy ... it's a little long but so interesting to see the tubing stress and constriction:   Silicon Tube Stenosis CCSVI Experiment 

Friends and Blessings 

In the past month, friends and family have provided meals and held fundraisers in order to help with the financial burden of this medical venture.   It has all been such a blessing to us .. and I'm not sure how we can ever really express our gratitude for all the help that so many provided.   Part of me feels like I need to have a successful story so that people will feel like they gave to a good cause, but I know that I really have no role in the success of this procedure in my case.  All I can do is to take care of my body, rest and recover.   Thank you all -- your generosity has so greatly touched our hearts! 
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