MS is an Autoimmune disease, this means the body's immune system causes illness by mistakenly attacking healthy cells, organs, or tissues. MS damages the myelin (nerve fiber insulation) in a random and patchy manner, causing a wide range of neurological defects. MS is a chronic and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that produces mental and physical symptoms.
I have one of four types of MS. It's called Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
In RRMS, symptoms come (relapses) and go (remissions). Symptoms may evolve over several days and then disappear, although some symptoms may remain.
I have problems with walking and balance, muscle spasticity, numbness and pain in my hands and legs with tingling and itchy sensations, (the right side is the worst) and the biggie - Fatigue!!! Strange thing is I don't have all of these all the time or all at once. It's different everyday with the exception of the fatigue, I have that all the time, just to different degrees. Some times I feel OK, others like I need a nap, and sometimes I can't even get out of bed.
All of my symptoms are treated individually, I take meds for the pain, fatigue, and the numbness. I have special exercises that I do for my muscles. I am very careful about my walking, I don't wear high heels, when I'm feeling weak or clumsy I walk close to a wall and I walk slow and concentrate and where my feet are going.
And for the MS it's self I take Rebif, it's called a disease modifying treatment that changes the course of MS by manipulating the immune system in a variety of ways.
Rebif is the latest agent approved for the treatment of MS. It's given by injection, just under the skin, three times a week. I use an auto injector called Rebiject mini, it's a device that automatically delivers the right amount of medication at the right depth under the skin at a constant speed. It has been shown to reduce the number of MS exacerbations and to slow down the progression of lesions seen on MRI scans.
I have been told that some side effects of Rebif include: Depression and Muscle aches-(already have that!), injection site reactions, flu like symptoms, headache, fever and chills-(no problems so far).
When I was first diagnosed I had two lesions on my brain and one on my spinal column. My latest MRI (brain, neck and spine) was done March 10, 2004. I now have a new one on my neck and one on my spine. This was a major factor in switching to the new med. I feel like I wasted 2 years on the other one. So now we move on and be positive.
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