Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Strength of Community

When my good friend, Brooke, found out that i was going to Germany to pursue the Liberation procedure, she immediately insisted she was going to do a fundraiser for me.  I didn't encourage nor did I discourage her...I remained relatively neutral.  Because, the fact is, I felt a little weird that people would fundraise for me!?!  I mean, there are a lot of other people who are probably much more worthy (and needy) of fundraising than me.  I kept thinking, "What makes me more special than someone else?"...

I guess being a teacher in the same district for the past 15 years has its advantages. You get to know a lot of people.  And I have been fortunate to work with quite a few great people over my teaching career.  And if you know anything about the nature of teachers, you'll know we love to get together and have a good time.  which doesn't happen very often on a district wide basis. So a Burger and Beverage night, on a Friday, near the end of the school year turns out to be a good way to raise some money AND get together!

I discovered something that night...the teaching community is an amazing, generous, caring group. I think I already kind of knew that, but just the same, I was humbled by that generosity and caring. And I thought to myself, "I guess I am special enough to have a fundraiser".  It's a wonderful feeling to know that so many people care about you.

I love being a teacher and I love working with so many great people.  And I am truly blessed to have such caring friends who would go out of their way to do something like this for me. I love you guys!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prevention of Restenosis - the Plan

So, I just got back from my appointment with my Naturopath with a plan to prevent restenosis when (I'm being positive, so no 'ifs') I get liberated.  She did some research and found some interesting correlations.  I'm going to share them with you because I think they are interesting too.
I'm going to just copy what she had written for me :)

*There is an association between the presence of H.pylori infection in the stomach (this is the bacteria that causes ulcers), elevated serum homocysteine, and elevated CRP (some kind of protein) and an increased risk of restenosis.  She recommends that I be tested for the presence of all three and then will treat accordingly.  So the tests are:
  • -H.pylori Breath Test 
  • - serum C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • -serum homocysteine
*Supplementing with vitamins that lower homocysteine levels (folic acid, B12, and B6) for 6 months after angioplasty or stenting significantly decreases the risk of restenosis at the 1 year mark.She recommends that beginning 5 days after the procedure, until at least 6 months after, I take AOR Promethyl which is a supplement that contains all 3 homocysteines mentioned.

*Bioflavonoids improve microvascular blood flow and clinical symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (pain, tired legs, night cramps, restless legs)  in up to 73% of patients Note: this is for leg veins but the symptoms are interesting as many MS'ers can relate to them...at least I can
She recommends beginning now, take 3000mg per day of bioflavonoids until 10 days prior to the procedure (they have a blood thinning effect) and then resume 5 days after the procedure at a maintenance dose of 1000-2000mg per day
She also recommends discontinuing all vitamins 10 days prior to testing and angioplasty and then to resume them 5 days after procedure.

So there you have it...I'm going in to see my GP next week to first, tell her what I'm planning to do (ie. Liberation procedure) and to request the necessary blood work.  It will be interesting to see what her reaction will be...I'm hoping for interested or intrigued but I'm expecting skeptical and cautious with the possibility of denial or refusal.  In which case, I have to go to Plan B which requires some major begging from a friend-of-a-friend, who is a Doctor, to request the lab work.  I'm hoping I won't have to go that route as I don't like asking for favors.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The "Natur"opath of Things

Ok, so I had my appointment with my Naturopath, who just came back from Mat Leave and had no idea what I was up to (as far as CCSVI goes).  She was extremely intrigued by the entire CCSVI theory and totally supports my decision to seek treatment.  My reason for seeing her now, is to establish some sort of wholistic support for my vascular system before I embark on my liberation treatment (fingers crossed) in August.  My reasoning, as I explained it to her, was that I wanted to make my veins as strong/flexible? as possible so as to possibly avoid any restenoses..."was this possible?", I asked her.  First, she was very impressed that I was being so proactive and secondly, she would get back to me, as she did not want to suggest anything right then until she researched this CCSVI more thoroughly.  Imagine that, a doctor, albeit a Naturopath, who wants to find out more about a 'novel' theory!

So I have an appointment next week to discuss what her ideas are.  We are also going to look at hair analysis to see how much iron I have in my body, as I would like to address this after I get back from Germany.  She also thinks it would be a good idea to get complete blood work up (ie. check vit/mineral levels, especially Vit D and B12.)

On a side note, she was surprised at how much worse my gait was since the last time she saw me (which was a year ago).  Another reason for going ahead with treatment!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Expectations

I've been reading on various blogs and thinking a lot about expectations the last couple of days.  As a teacher, I instinctively aspire to having high expectations for myself and for my students.  I'm always encouraging students to: be the best they can be, stay positive, "you can do it"...you get the picture.  But with CCSVI and the liberation procedure, I'm trying to convince myself to have low expectations and I'm having a hell of a time with it!  Because the truth is, I want this to make me better!

So while I say to myself,"I'll be happy if it just stops the progression of my MS", there's a part of me...and its a big part... that really wants the fatigue to go away, the numbness to go away, the stiffness to go away, the bladder problems to disappear, etc., etc.  And all the while I'm thinking, "But, wait, this is dangerous thinking, Moni!...you're setting yourself up for a potential major disappointment and how are you going to deal with that?!"

I was thinking about that last night, as I was trying to sleep (with not much luck...have to stop drinking that green tea in the evenings).  The power of positive thinking...people hear that phrase all the time, but what does it really mean?  I've been reading a bit about quantum physics (I know, sounds impressive, doesn't it? LOL) and how it can relate to spirituality.  I read a book by Greg Bradden, titled, The Divine Matrix.  In it, he writes about how our thoughts and intentions can influence the world around us.  It was a very interesting read.  And one that made me think that I had better keep thinking positive, and imagine myself getting better...just in case my thoughts and intentions DO influence the world around me!

As far as the, "how I am going to deal with a major disappointment"thinking goes...I'm going to rationalize that away, by saying that "it takes time for the body to heal and everyone heals differently; just as everyone's MS is different. So, how can I be disappointed right away if it doesn't seem to have worked?...it's just my body adjusting and healing".

Of course, all this debate is pretty much mute if I don't even have CCSVI.  In which case, my rationale will be:  I still have MS and I'm still waiting for a cure (I know, its lame,  but its all I could come up with at the moment.)