Sunday, January 2, 2011

Life Upside Down: Four months in.

On the good side of things- nothing has really changed in the past month. It, of course, has been four months since my diagnosis, two months since the start of my DMM (disease-modifying medication), and a few days since an occurrence of my toe trouble.
Since that was the focus of last month, I'll mention the fact that my neurologist didn't think it was a reaction to my DMM. He prescribed some over the counter hydro cortisone cream. So when it becomes unbearable I use that and it helps.
I just can't seem to keep my toes warm and I think that is why they are giving me trouble.
I had chill blains when I was little. I played outside too long in the snow with inadequate boots. Anyway, that was then and this is now. This toe trouble seemed a bid reminiscent.
Last month I did some snow shoveling with inadequate boots. I believe my toes got too cold and thus the toe trouble. Just starting on the DMM and not knowing what to expect I possible wrongly blamed it for my troubles. Note. I am still having trouble ruling it out. Though it does look more likely that I keep letting my feet get too cold.
When I was little it was a long time before the cold stopped effecting my toes. I remember several times that I would stay to long outside in the snow and suffer the consequences. Once I had chill blains the occurrences would increase. One has to be diligent to keep your toes warm to be free of the painful red sores.
So here we are trying to be diligent once again and failing. My toes feel cold most of the time. In one of the books I've been reading the author writes about cold feet being a symptom of MS. The book explains that when  MS starts to tamper with the interconnections of your nerves responsible for the diameter of the blood vessels, the perception of cold feet can happen. It also explains that your feet are not really cold it is just your perception due to nerve damage.  I don't know if I am having this symptom for sure or if I am just not being diligent enough. I'm thinking at least in part it is the latter because I am receiving damage from them being cold. If they weren't really cold they wouldn't be having trouble.
Another problem I am having is hard to admit. I am having some anger issues. I have always had some trouble with anger but, lately it's become worse. I'm really not proud of this and am praying my Lord will help me figure this out.
It's kind of like having a big 2-stroke motor with a monster power-band for a temper. If you've been around this type of dirt bike you know what happens sometimes when I get angry now. I don't think it's my DMM or even the MS per say. I think I am just angry about my situation. When I have ridiculous trouble taking care of something that needs doing and it doesn't go so easy. My 2-stroke revs up and hits that power-band. Unfortunately my sweet family gets mud thrown on them from my knobby tire. I don't like myself very much at these times.
So, that's been this past month. My other symptoms have stayed like a base line for these four months. There hasn't been any changes in them and I haven't really been able to avoid them. They just happen or not without warning. I feel good most of the time. Just slowed down.

I pray Dear Lord, help in and through all this. Help me to be loving. To come through more and more like you.


  1. I think you are entirely accurate in your feeling that your cold toes are MS related. I suspect because you are sensitive in that area, due to frost bite as a kid - or chillblains -that it is worse than it otherwise would be with MS alone or chillblains alone. It seems to me it would stand to reason, that the frostbite is worse this year because of the onset of the MS...
    especially if it is reported to be a side effect or consequence of the MS.
    There is my two cents, for which I know you did not ask. ;-) I think nerve damage plus cold feet equals extra cold feet; and you have "perceived" it correctly. It is nerves, after all, that the frost bite has damaged, isn't it? Not sure about that, but that would make sense to me.
    It is very unfortunate, as you so love the snow....Sending you warmth and prayers.

  2. There is much I do not know about MS, but I do know about hypothermia and frostbite. In rescue training, they teach us that once one has had a past experience with a cold weather injury, that individual is much more susceptible at a later time. With Frostbite: It freezes the skin and the blood in the bloodvessels in the affected area(Thus affecting nerves also). When treating frostbite, never immerse the affected area in hot water, it causes the ice in the blood vessels to break free and go strait to the heart which can cause cardiac arrest, shock, and ultimately, death. Its best to warm slowly, even immersing the affected area in a bowl of cold water (about 35* to 40*F).

    Hypothermia also affects the nervous system and can cause problems later in life... one does not have the tolerance for the cold that that individual had before experiencing hypothermia. Even being near-hypothermic can lower tolerance of cold weather.

    This is just what I have learned through Search and Rescue and First Responder training, I thought it might be helpful. But this is probably stuff you already knew. May God's blessings be ever with you as you travel the path. ~TE

  3. Thank you so much for this detailed information. Awesome knowledge to have.
    I knew in cases of frost bite or chillblains, once you've been effected it can reoccur easier but did not know hypothermia would do the same or the reasons why.
    Thanks again.

  4. and thanks to you too Sis. You two's support means so much to me.