Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms and Management
What are the symptoms of MS? Lisa Emrich informs the audience.
Hi. I mentioned before that I've had several relapses. Well, you might ask what qualifies as a relapse when you have MS? Well, the official definition is that a relapse is an occurrence of new symptoms or worsening of old symptoms, and it lasts more than 24 hours and it's been at least 30 days since your previous relapse. Those are the official definitions. I notice that sometimes I won't admit that I'm in a relapse until it's already been going on perhaps a week, because I've had little ones that didn't require steroids, or perhaps I really didn't want to do them. So, I just kind put up with the little symptoms, and then wait it out. Well, when I've had the big relapses, I've needed to do the Solu-Medrol treatment, which is given by an IV with very high doses of steroids. It's not fun. There are many side effects. Usually patients get anxious. I do. I get very anxious, and have trouble sleeping. Usually, I'm very hungry. I've found that my taste buds change and things feel oily, so I'm less hungry, in fact. Another side effect is swelling. You tend to hold water, so it's very important to eliminate salt completely, low sodium and high potassium, because you want to try to replenish the potassium in your body that the steroids take out, and you don't need any extra salt to fight as well. I've found with my relapses, I don't get over them immediately. But usually by the third day of steroids, I can tell that things were improving. Like I said, always get five days. So by the third day it's better, fourth day, a little bit better. The fifth day, maybe I don't really see a difference yet. Sometimes it may take months before I feel like I've truly regained what I had lost. Sometimes I don't regain what I'd lost. I still have residual disability left over from several of my relapses. That's one of the things that sometimes you have to face when you have MS. Some people go back to baseline. Some people don't go back to baseline. Some people progress without the relapses up and down. Some people have relapses, and then their progression continues at the same time, and eventually they go into secondary progressive. So it's a different journey for all of us, and that's just been my journey and my experience. If you don't mind, maybe you can share your experience of what you've done when you've had relapses, or how do you qualify if it truly is a relapse for you? So, please share your stories. I'll look forward to reading them, and I hope you have a good weekend. Bye.