31 March 2008

The March of Time

I took last week off from doing anything. With my knee, I didn't want to work and then I woke up in such a bad mood on Monday I need to take a day off. Things being what they are when you work for the man, you have to request a day off 48 hours in advance. No big deal, I hate taking days off in the middle of the week, so Friday. Check the book and damned if someone hadn't already taken the day on my team. No day off for Steve. After a string of cuss words, I suck it up and take the next Friday off. The rest of the week sucked ass. If I could have put it on fast forward, I would have, or a few shots of tequila.

Friday comes and goes and then it's the weekend. After last Friday's fun cut short, staying out late is just about over. Which, BTW, was cut short anyway by the county cops. Saturday, I went to a birthday party for my friends one year old. Brooklyn is a miracle baby of sorts. Her due date was supposed to be my birthday, but she had to be delivered about 100 days early. Surprises of all surprises, her doctors let her go home early. With premature babies, they usually stay in until their due date. She came home the week before Memorial Day. She was all of 5 pounds.

She seems to be a healthy happy baby. When I saw her a month ago, she was a typical baby: you lay her down and she stays there. Four weeks later, if you sit her up, she won't do a face plant, she can't crawl but she can push herself backwards. Entertainment of all entertainment, she got an un-iced chocolate cake to tear apart. Chocolate cake all over the place including her face. It was good to see childlike innocence again.

Sunday I spent the day lounging.

Myelitis . . . same, MS still the same. Shots . . . Monday was okay, with the delayed flu. Wednesday okay again, with delayed flu, which was a little unusual. Friday . . . hurt like hell, no flu.

22 March 2008

Happy Easter

Not much to report this week. Myelitis was okay. No really major flare ups. I did my usual four workouts this week and I think I tore something in my knee on Thursday. "And the hits just keep on coming . . . " I don't know how much the sled weighs on the leg press, but I have been easily pressing 270 pounds of weight fairly easily. When I went on Thursday, there was already 270 on plus an additional 50. What's 50 pounds when it comes to the legs? On the third rep, a nice sharp pain behind my left knee. Took 140 pound off and kept going. Now it's just stiff and crunches every now and then. Not good.

Shots went well this week. I had a birthday party to go to last night. Throw in trivia and beer pong and it makes for a fun night. It's nice that my friends look out for me, because I got to drink one beer. Everything past that, nobody would let me drink. Shot nights and staying out late are not a good combination. About 11:00 the mild headache started and about 11:30 started the joint pain. I tried to hold on, but all I wanted to do was take some drugs and go to bed. When 12:00 came around, I had to go.

Such a drastic change from that former life I had. Stay out until 3 in the morning, go home, sleep for three hours, get up, play volleybal all day, get dinner, go home sleep for an couple hours get up and stay out until 3 in the morning again. Every Weekend.

"How the mighty have fallen"

15 March 2008

No News is Good News

Not much going on this week. My myelitis flare up continued on through till the end of the week. The neuro's office called on Tuesday and my blood test results all came back normal. Not that I was all that worried about it. Since the office I work in is a germ factory and a virus and upper respiratory bug hit almost everyone and skipped over me, I didn't think my white cell count when down.

My arm from the stick for the blood test is still a lovely shade of purple. Earlier in the week, it was just about every color of the rainbow. I worked out 4 times this week which is about what I normally do. Last Saturday was a max lift for my upper body. Which, sad to say, was what I was doing two years ago. As a result, everything was tired when I lifted again on Tuesday. But today, I had more endurance.

All in all, it was a quite week.

08 March 2008

National MS Awareness Week

Monday starts National MS Awareness Week. Enter cynicism.

Why do we need just a week? Those of us that have been diagnosed are certainly aware of it every day. Or is this a week to make people that don't have MS aware? What is being aware. Telling people that you have it, does that make them aware? Knowing someone that has it, does that make them aware? In the age of feelings, we have "Awareness" weeks, but what is the purpose?

Yesterday was my 6 month check up at the neurologist. Not much to report. I'm not going to have another round of steroids for the myelitis. I really didn't think I would, but one could always hope. It was basically another interview.

Q. How did you react to the Rebif?
A. Fine, January sucked since I started the full dose. The side affects were controlled by ibuprofen. I had some mood swings, but they went away.

Q. Notice any physical changes? Ever have days where you were exhausted for no reason?
A. Haven't notice anything really. I have energy, just lack of motivation. Winter's not my best time of year. I'm working out again after pulling a muscle in my back.

She did mention a couple things on the horizon. There could be a couple of new drugs in the next two to three years that are in pill form. Also a "new and improved" form of injectibles in the same time as well. They are starting human trials shortly. Hit the National MS web site at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/index.aspx for details.

After about 10 minutes we were done. Told me to come back in 6 months, call her if anything changes or I had questions and go to the lab and have your blood test to check you red and white blood cell count and your liver function. The nurse took two vials of blood and I left knowing I would have a nice bruise in the morning.

I woke up this morning with the worst flare up of the myelitis since the second round of steroids. It's gotten better since the day has progressed. It also brought something else to mind. If there's anyone reading this that knows, let me know.

My employer has instituted mandatory random drug testing. Wednesday was my lucky day. As always when these things happen, they came and got me right after I came back from the bathroom. Fortunately, the myelitis wasn't bad last week and 48 ounces of water and an hour or so later I was done.

The way these things go, an individual has 3 hours from the time they report to fill the cup. If they can't a doctor is called for a medical reason. Obviously I have two dead fire reasons why I may not be able to provide a sample. There's were days that as much as I tried, nothing would flow, for hours. No matter how full my bladder was. There's nothing that hampers performance more than frustration.

If there's anyone out there that's run into a problem, please share. I imagine that if it ever became a problem, I could always throw ADA at them and see where that gets me.

04 March 2008

"Taking The Sleigh For a Ride . . ."

For those unfamiliar with Saint Louis weather, it can turn on a dime. This weekend was awesome. Saturday it was in the mid 60's and Sunday was in the mid 70's. March was entering like a lamb only to be eaten by the lion. Monday . . . Ice. Tuesday 10+ inches of snow in about 5 hours.

Needless-to-say, traffic was a little insane. The main roads were a parking lot and the highways were a nightmare. At one point, MODOT wanted to close the highways due to so many accidents. With the accidents, they couldn't really plow the roads. Thankfully, none of that mattered to me.

I have what someone called an alpha male vehicle: 2008 Hummer H3 Alpha. During Christmas there was a Hummer commercial that showed a top down view of a Hummer zipping through the snow and the only caption was "Taking The Sleigh For a Ride." I took the highway home and out of 4 lanes, two or three had cars on them, so I made my own lane. It was awesome. It only took me 15 minutes longer than normal.

With the warm weather came activity. I was tapped to help a friend finish out his basement. Taking advantage of the weather, we peppered the volleyball around. It was the first time I touched a volleyball since September. It wasn't the best but it wasn't like it was the last time. The myelitis is still affecting my reaction time, my coordination was better, jumping though . . . lacking.

Last post I said I had a check up with my neurologist that would have been yesterday. Guy gene kicked in and the appointment wasn't yesterday. I didn't get the reminder call all of last week and for the life of me couldn't figure out why. After there was no call on Friday, I decided to check the appointment card. This Friday.