Six Hour Dr. Visit

MS SocietyToday I am spending the next six hours in the Doctor’s office. A specialist office at that. That seems like a long time but mostly I am just here for observation as I start a medication to ensure that some noted side effects do not occur. Six hours seem like a long time and to be sure, it is (thankfully I brought the laptop and the iPad to occupy my time). Six hours though is really nothing compared to the time I have spent in the Doctor’s office and especially various labs since early April. It is a bit of a long story, but clearly I have the time and it seems somehow appropriate to start the story here on the blog the day I am starting the medication for my life with MS.

This all started, though completely unknown to me at the time, back in the early part of March. I suppose I first started to notice things during my somewhat annual trek to Mississippi for the SCA event known as Gulf Wars. Several times during the war, as I walked from one place to another I felt slightly off-balance or uneven. At the time I wrote it off as I was probably not eating as regularly or in the good food groups – which tend toward happening at the big events like that. A combination of a lot more energy being spent with an outside hot event tends toward at least me generally not wanting to consume very much. At the time, without suspicion, though looking back a month later the perspective changed, I came off the steady super horse twice during warm ups for the big jousting event. I bowed out of the competition and wrote it off as not enough practice ahead of time, especially since I have been told by some of those same folks in the past that I must have velcro-britches.

A few weeks after returning to my normal life the off-balance issues were getting worse – not better. In fact, at times the off-balance issues were bad enough to start the feeling of nausea. After dealing with it for a few more days and denying that anything could possibly be wrong I, along with some encouraging from my wife, decided it was time to see the Doctor about this. Keep in mind, I am generally not one to put too much into going to the Doctor. Oddly, a few months before I had done a regular physical and established a relationship with a Doctor – the first in least three or four years. Do not get me wrong, but generally I just think a lot of things with the medical field are way over rated and because of that you can bet if I am at the Doctor’s there is genuinely something wrong.

An MRI and a few other test later and the regular Doctor is scheduling me for a specialist. Another huge batch of tests later and the neurologist is telling I have multiple sclerosis. After several more test to make sure I can start this drug, finds me here today, getting started on it while being observed to make sure that critical side effects sometimes observed on the first dose of huge drops in pulse rate and/or blood pressure do not occur.

In between the first start of this journey and today life has been re-evaluated. There is strong realization that somethings I love much may have to be given up or at least scaled back. Other things, that for the last several years but that have been missed great may be returned to in more earnest and at the time without waiting for that later to get around to them. Going forward with this blog I plan to come back and touch on some of those kinds of things and how I am reaching some of those choices and decisions, both from that time period and of course going into the future.

** – Image is from National MS Society and is a link to their site.

*** – Originally published on MyLifeMS.com, June 17, 2011.