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Re: Hi Carla!
Oct 27, 2003
Hi Carla,

Thanks for all the kudos!

Before I do anything else, I just want to wish you good luck with your plan of action. I hope that you will be able to get the relief you need without the trauma of surgery. Be careful with the chiropractor, though. I know that many people believe strongly in chiropractors, but I am not one of them. To be honest, I've probably heard just as many success stories as horror stories, so I would never be so presumptuous as to tell someone not to visit one. All I ask is that you be very careful.

Now, to answer your question about the MS flare. You know what they say about MS and heat, right? Well, June 25 was an incredibly hot day; it was close to 100 degrees, and the humidity was quite high. It was also the day that I had to take my daughter to the bus that would take her to sleep away camp. My husband couldn't come for the ride, since he had just been released from the hospital two days prior, (that's a whole other story!) so my brother came for the ride.

The first problem was that the air conditioner in my car was not working, so it was pretty hot in the car. But I had the windows and the sunroof open, and since the traffic was not too heavy, I was able to drive fast enough to catch a breeze. I also had my bottle of frozen water with me. So far, so good.

We arrived at the place about 30 to 40 minutes before the bus was supposed to arrive. But it didn't arrive when it was supposed to. The idiot bus driver got lost! There was no place to go to get out of the heat, and of course, I had no air conditioner! As the time passed, my right limbs started to tingle and burn. (My LEFT side is the one I call the MS side.) And the burning got progressively worse, until I felt as if I were on fire! Then, my head started doing what I call "MS things" (for lack of a better explanation).

Finally, the bus came. We had been waiting for about three hours! We said goodbye to Jennifer and started on our way. My brother asked me if I was okay to drive, and I said I was. Believe me, I was feeling lousy, but not lousy enough to be a passenger in my own car! But when we got to the highway, we saw that it was at a dead standstill! Luckily, I knew how to get back to Queens from Long Island via streets, so I got right off the highway.

As long as the car was moving, I was able to tolerate the heat, but every time I got to a red light, the symptoms got worse. Then, my hands started to contract, and my head started getting worse. Finally, I pulled over and told my brother I couldn't drive anymore. He knew at that point that this was pretty serious!!

I didn't know until I opened the door to walk around to the passenger side that I couldn't walk! I had to hold onto the car to manage this feat; I'm sure I would not have been able to take even one step totally unaided.

As we continued on our way, I continued to get worse. My hands not only contracted, but they were completely frozen in the "shadow duck" position. Even my brother couldn't forcefully open them up. All I kept saying was "GET ME HOME!"

Thankfully, a very dear friend of the family was at my apartment with my husband. (We couldn't leave him home alone.) When we got in front of my building, we called her from the cell phone and asked her to come down. She took one look at me and almost collapsed!! Apparently, I looked pretty bad!

Anyway, she helped me out of the car and up to the apartment. (I was able to walk, but quite unsteadily.) I went into the bedroom and lay on the bed. (Poor me--I had to go to the bathroom, but I knew it would be impossible, since my hands were virtually paralyzed!) Then, Lovie took off my socks and went to get an ice pack to cool me down. (The air conditioner was on, but I could hardly feel it.)

The ice felt good on my head, but--here's the funny part--when Lovie put it on my neck, where I really wanted it, I got a sudden pain! OMG!! I realized that I now have a metal plate in my neck!! Do you know what cold metal is like? Needless to say, we took the ice off immediately!

And here's where the will came in to play. I kept staring at my frozen hands and saying, "I have to do my husband's IV tomorrow. And I have to change his dressing. And tomorrow is Avonex day. My hands HAVE to get better." And I kept talking to my hands and willing them to "unfreeze". By the time I had been home for about two hours, I was back to my pre-flare condition! Whew!

So that's the story. (By the way, I love the Avonex! Well, maybe "love" isn't quite the right word, but you know what I mean.)

I'd love to be able to give you my e-mail address, since I know there's so much more we can share with each other, but unfortunately, they don't allow that around here. Sigh. Anyway, keep in touch.

Love and hugs,

Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

[This message has been edited by BarbS123 (edited 10-27-2003).]

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