Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Christmas Update

We hosted Christmas dinner this year...for 12 guests.  The first time in my entire adult life I have had that many people in our little house at one time, let alone sitting down for dinner!  Thankfully, my mom was staying over to help.  Christmas Eve day was spent cleaning, organizing and prepping for Christmas Day.  Got up at 8am and basically was on the go until 7 pm when we sat down and watched one of my favourite musicals, The Sound of Music.  Surprisingly, I was not really tired, although my legs were protesting a bit. 

Had to get up at 7 the next morning to start the 20lb turkey that was almost too big for my oven. (definitely a bit tense in the kitchen) and then basically was on the go being the supreme hostess until everyone left at 8pm that night.  Dinner was a successful affair...yes!

Amazingly, I was feeling good and my legs did not feel any different than they usually do, despite the extra stress and activity I was subjecting them to.  Even after eating some forbidden foods (aka chocolate and Christmas cookies) I don't feel any worse?!

Could it be I am seeing some improvements in my symptoms? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Liberation procedure update I went in on the 15th of December to have the 'liberation procedure' done at the Vascular Access Center in Seattle.  Dr. McGuckin did not perform the procedure, rather his associate Dr. Kirsch, did.  Coincidentally, Dr. Kirsch is a friend of Dr. Vogel, who performed my initial 'liberation procedure' in Germany, last year.  It was interesting to listen to his comments about what Dr. Vogel did or did not do. :P

So, after thoroughly checking the renal, iliac, inferior vena cava, superiour vena cava, azygous and both jugular veins, they found I had 80% blockage in my left jugular close to a valve near the collarbone and 50% blockage in my right jugular, in pretty much the same spot.  Dr. Kirsch used a 14mm balloon to dilate both veins, successfully.  I'm curious as to what size balloon is used most often, as Dr. Vogel only used an 8mm balloon...and let me tell you...I felt the difference!

I was a bit disappointed that they didn't find any blockages in the iliac or renal veins, as I was convinced blockages in these veins might be what is contributing to the increasing numbness/spasticity/heaviness in my legs.

There hasn't been any real changes in my symptoms, except that my hands have been hot/very warm (which NEVER happens) and my feet have not been cold at all (something I have been dealing with for many years).  I imagine this is due to better circulation?!

I still think I may have issues with my leg veins and am still waiting for a duplex ultrasound. (this may take a while, as wait lists for certain diagnostics in our province can be quite lengthy).  In the meantime, I think I will go ahead and try the diosmin/hesperidin formula I got from my Naturopath to see if it might alleviate some of my leg issues.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

May-Thurner Syndrome

When I was speaking with the intake nurse from Vascular Access Center and relaying to her my MS symptoms, she asked me if I had ever been tested for May-Thurner Syndrome.  My reaction was pretty much the same as everyone else..."what is that?...never heard of it?"

According to Dr. McGuckin (surgeon at VAC) he is finding that 70% of the patients he treats for CCSVI have May-Thurner Syndrome. (go figure?!) Main symptoms are pain and swelling of the legs and is caused by the right iliac artery compressing the left iliac vein as it crosses over it. 

I find this fascinating, as again, we have a possible circulatory problem contributing to what we have always imagined was an MS symptom. 

Fortunately, Dr. McGuckin routinely checks for May-Thurner Syndrome when he checks for CCSVI.  Who knows, maybe I'm one of the 70%.  I will find out tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Round 2 Coming Up

Well, I went and did it!  Booked my appointment with the Vascular Access Center in Seattle for my second "liberation" procedure.  It was my hair stylist, Tarise, who actually got me to make the call.  It's been in the back of my mind for a while now, but not until I had one of our enlightening conversations, did I finally acknowledge (out loud) to Tarise, that this is what I really wanted to do. 

I'm scheduled for the procedure on the 15th of December.  This works out well for me, because it gives me until the New Year before I have to go back to work.  And I am so hoping that I will be able to do that...I miss my students. :((

Unlike the first time, I have no expectations whatsoever...I think I'm afraid to have any.  If I have veins that need to be fixed, I will get them fixed so that my body can, perhaps, focus on healing some of the damage that's been done (which I see as more of a long term process). 

It's my Christmas present to mself. :)