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A Hospital Stay, Trip to Seattle, and More.....

Fall is finally here. For the most part this tends to be my favorite time of year. In all actuality my favorite time is from October to New Years. I personally am a big fan of the holidays. This time of year typically is great though. The weather is finally cooling off, only it is not yet at the point where it is cold. I can still wear shorts and t-shirts if I wish, but if I want to wear pants I won't get so overheated. I don't need the cooling vest anymore. This is the time of year where I am comfortable. Although I have to admit, I still have a need for my A/C. That is where we are all different, I suppose. I know some of you must be thinking I am nuts for needing my A/C this time of year, but my particular MS makes it so that I actually use the one in my room year round. Yes, even in the winter I will use it from time to time. And, if you know me well, you know I am the type of person that gets so overheated from time to time that I have been known to break a sweat even in 32` weather when everyone else is wearing sweaters, sweatshirts, long pants, and coats. It is quite unusual for me to ever wear a coat. This illness is so strange!

Anyway, so it has been awhile since I have posted. Things are still very up and down in regards to my health. In fact I am having an issue that I am not quite sure what to do about. Of course I am seeing my doctors regularly, but we are not quite sure if my current issues are due to my asthma, allergies, MS or possibly a combination of them all. About 3 weeks ago I had another one of what I have come to call my breathing episodes. About 5 in the morning I woke up because I could not breathe. It came on suddenly and as always my first reaction was to put on the nebulizer and start the meds. It did not take long at all (maybe 30 seconds) to know I was going down hill very fast though and we had to call the EMT. After being rushed to the hospital by ambulance, having several meds pumped in to me, I was then admitted to the ICU where I spent just under a week. As if that was not stressful enough for my family, I was placed in the room next to my grandma who recently spent about 3 weeks in the hospital.

Over the last year I have started having these breathing episodes, and so far there is nothing that is obviously causing it. It has happened in all kinds of different situations....sometimes when awake, sometimes when sleeping, different times of the day and year. Nothing to give us any real idea as to why this is happening or what is causing it. My local doc seems to think that maybe there is something in my home I am allergic to that I could be responding to. However, this last one, I got a cough the day before it happened and we were out of town for a couple days. Then there is the thought that maybe my MS is involved because there seems to be a pattern of severe muscle spasms at the same time. Then there is the thought that it is a combination of me reacting to something in the air which then aggravates my MS causing my MS to flare. At this point I am not really sure. The thing is each one seems to be worse then the previous one and I am just not sure how much my body can take.

Last week I travelled to Seattle to see an Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology specialist. For the first time I was questioned about my vocal abilities and throat. She thinks that possibly I am having a problem that is apparently quite common in people with severe asthma where the vocal cords collapse suddenly. This would make sense to me considering she described it as something common with severe asthma (which I have), the feeling of not being able to breathe because you actually can't due to the vocal cords closing, and considering I have been having a new problem over the last month where I tend to choke or swallow wrong. All of this seems like it would be connected. She is having me return to Seattle to see one of her colleagues who can then do a test to verify the problem and then go from there. She also informed me of things I can do at home to prevent having a reaction to everyday things. Like a specialized mattress pad and pillow cases that prevent things like dust mites, then there are the more expensive things (which no matter the cost sound like a good investment) like de-humidifiers to help reduce any possibility of mold and mildew. She seems to really know her stuff. She also started me on a new nasal spray and is having me do some other things.

Our bodies are quite amazing when you think of it. It sucks that they don't always work the way they were made to, but I am glad that when things like these breathing episodes do happen it is a natural response that I have a spasm which when sleeping wakes me up. Health issues suck!

Well, I hope this finds all of you doing well and enjoying some cooler weather. Take care!


Denver Refashionista said...

So sorry about your health issues. There was a guy in my MS group who had a similar issue. He felt like there was a tightness in his chest. He wondered if it was a side effect of his interferon. I think he was on rebif.

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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my life with MS (among other things).

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