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Sunday, April 20, 2014

MS isn't always the worst of the bad things...

This is my week in a nut shell: It's Spring Break (yes, we didn't get enough days out of school this year:) and my family normally spends a few days at our home away from home...Bemis, the Center of the Universe. This year, how ever, I get to stay home for most of the week, entertaining doctors. For some time, I have suffered weird chest pains that was orginially diagnosed as some kind of chest inflammation that required 3 daily doses of high power Motrin. It helped for a while but after several months I became nervous about the amount of Motrin that my body was ingesting...and the pain was not going away. So...I took my concerns back to the physician who has now decided that a pain pill (when needed) is more the ticket, in addition to a muscle relaxant at bed time. It's done wonders, but a further precaution is the heart monitor that I am wearing for the next 24 hours. My heart rate is (I guess) alarmingly low, (Isn't that a good thing?) so I have been referred to a cardiologist and am proceeding with caution. I just hope that this new doctor journey does NOT interfere with Westest. Oh, the complications that would create! (Seeing as how this educational measure of student achievement and teacher competency is more important than ANYTHING in my profession.)

But...I will dwell on that later. My main focus right now is to endure the next 24 hours so that I can get ready for my original Spring Break occupation.

I'm not worried about the heart monitor and I actually appreciate the fact that I have to avoid using the telephone or the microwave while wired to this gadget. I find public interest in this visual indication of an infliction fascinating, though. Just because the little black box and accompanying grey wires are part of my attire today, complete strangers are compelled to sympathetically comment on my "situation". It doesn't hurt that my drop foot is acting up today so my gait is a bit "off". For nearly 13 years I have evidently passed off my MS as just an annoyance rather than a daily complication. Now, because I am connected to a physical reminder of a possible "condition," my fellow Earth occupants dig into their generosity banks to offer encouraging words. Hmmm.....

I try not to call attention to my MS and mostly do a pretty good job of that. I have been using my cane more often of late and that has produced questions, especially from my students since I don't really go any where else but school. Two comments in the last week, one from a student and one from a colleague: "Mrs. McCombs, what's with the cane?" "Oh, my. How did you hurt your ankle?"

When I admit my MS, I do not do so with shame, and I do not mind offering an abbreviated desciption of the disease. I just hate admitting to a weakness, regardless of the fact that it is nothing I caused. It is humilating enough that I need to justify my physical limitations, but the confusion exhibited by an onlooker is sometimes even worse.

FIVE DAYS LATER
Ah...but it gets better...
The heart monitor was no big deal and all test results are encouraging. There is supposedly
nothing wrong with my heart (but I am anemic), but considering my family history I fully intend to see the cardiologist any way. What's another day away from school if it assures me more days to enjoy my son? Westest be damned. (Oops, did I really say that?)

So...I finally spent some of my break in the Center of the Universe; but it was short-lived. I felt horrible when I got there, went to bed early, and awoke even earlier...in tears. And I mean full blown hysteria. I could not stop crying, my chest hurt, my mind was imploding with terribly depressing images of anything and everything bad that could happen to me and to my family. I was so jittery that I could barely dress myself. After a LONG, hot shower, I packedmy things and drove home; scared behind words and unable to squelch my periodical bouts of crying. My poor son had to witness this and he did his best to make me feel better. My baby is becoming such a wonderful young man.

We drove immediately to my doctor, where I underwent another EKG and more blood work.
The diagnosis? I have an ear infection, which was causing my dizziness. Better yet, the muscle relaxant was the main culprit. "Some people experience periods of depression." Lucky me, I'm one in that statistic.

The anitibiotic is working miracles. I am no longer dizzy or jittery. My chest pains are even gone.

I'm still going to the cardiologist; but I will NEVER take another muscle relaxant.

My son and I had a long talk about drug consumption. ((Yep, forever the teacher in search of that "teachable" moment:) I am totally blown away by what that teeny, tiny  little white pill did to me. In fact, I only consumed a fourth of it. He agrees that recreational drug use is NOT in his future. Good boy.

So..I am now on an essential oil kick. Noni juice has all ready proven its benefits regarding MS. Vitamin D is crucial. Peppermint always calms my tummy and there's nothing more relaxing than a hot cup of camomile tea. Honey is an awesome natural remedy for many things. I'll keep my anticiotic for now, though.

My goal is to discover a good medical reason to eat all this yummy Easter chocolate in my kitchen!
 



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