Denervation recovery day three

The third day of recovery after having my back procedure. It’s Sunday, the first day of our weekend. The day that our alarm clocks are redundant, I do love my sleep! It also means that because I’m not on my own my mood is good even though my pain is bad!

I did have to cancel a class today, we don’t normally go to exercise classes on a Sunday but Deb and I had decided we would try a different class, one that we had both wanted to do for a while called ‘Body Pump’ A weight-based group-fitness program created and distributed globally by Les Mills International.
I was really disappointed that I had to cancel but there was really no way that I could do it! I didn’t think there would be any chance I would be able do the class after having my back done!

I didn’t stay disappointed for too long after I cancelled the class yesterday, the reason for this was because Deb told me she would also cancel as it would be better if we did our first class together!

We didn’t stay in mopping! I’d been given a HMV gift card for my birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I told Deb that I wanted to go and get the film called ‘Lady in the Van’

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I was so excited to be going out, I know it was only 2 days, 3 if you include the day of the procedure. I felt as though I had been stuck inside for too long, I mean I’m normally out every day even If just for a short time like visiting my GP to renew my medication!

I updated my social media status to something like:
“Breaking news!… I’m going out! The Vixter has left the Manor! (Fear not sofa, I will return!)”

This was short lived though and soon updated to:
“I’ve returned! I forgot that I could only stand for about 5 minutes yesterday! The pain is horrendous when I’m walking and standing! Better off staying on the sofa a little longer me thinks!”

It’s so easy for me to forget the things I can and can’t do, especially when my pain is just about bearable when I’m sitting in one place! I’d forgotten the awful pain in my thighs when I walk, the pain shooting down the backs of my legs emanating from my butt and finishing at my feet. I’d forgotten how every step was more and more painful and I’d even forgotten how I would need help lifting my legs in and out of the car! Even if I had used my wheelchair I would have still been in too much pain getting in and out of the car and also whilst in the wheelchair because of twisting to look at different things.
Still, all this said, I managed to get my dvd and we watched it tonight. A lovely film, very different to what you might expect but still a good film.

My trip out today has made me realise one thing for sure, I definitely won’t be able to attend the MS exercise class that I normally go to and being covered by Hannah Bailey. It’s scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). Even though it’s seated exercise it’s far too much for me to handle yet!
This also means that I won’t be going to Monday evenings Fight Klub! This isn’t good news! One of my favourite classes! I’m going to have to try extremely hard to stay positive tomorrow because of this! Wish me luck!

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Denervation day!

Myles came to support me yesterday for my ‘Denervation & sacroiliac joint facet steroid injections’ at University hospital Coventry but was feeling a little nervous about going into day surgery & wouldn’t get out of my bag!…

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Whilst I was getting settled in my hospital bed for the day Myles was checking out his surroundings…

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It can get very boring waiting for your turn in theatre so we had a look at what we could do to pass the time…

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After having a little read of the book Myles then decided to have a go at a sudoku puzzle!…

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Myles wasn’t very happy because he wasn’t allowed in theatre with me but was over the moon when I came out and took the opportunity for some selfies!…

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I always try and stay positive & with as ManySmiles as I can! How could I not smile with a cup of tea in my hand and a bear on my arm!…

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I had a few things done yesterday, one procidure called denervation (pronounced De-Nerve-Ation) the consultant puts needles deep into my lower spine and attatches a machine that litterally burns the nerves at 80°c! This procedure stops the pain messages travelling from the nerve to the brain!

During the other procedure the consultant injects steroids into both of my sacroiliac joints (where the hips join the spine)

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Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This time he did denervation higher up my spine as well because the pain was stopping me from being backwards!
Phew!
The procedures took just over an hour & I was awake for all of it!

Last 2 times I had it done, I could only stand him doing one side so had to go back another day for the other side to be done!
This time i managed to bare the painful procedures and the consultant did it all in one go!

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Goals are set

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I Seriously am feeling so proud of myself!
At home I’ve been practicing different exercises that we do during Pilates, in particular the stretches shown above & today I nailed it!

I managed to hold the stretch on the right (‘Tree’) for nearly 45 seconds & I felt as though I was really strong! The stretch on the left I find difficult to stay strong because I have to switch my focus as I go from ‘tree’ to this one. I managed to hold it for 30 seconds today with a bit of a wobble! Okay, I doubt I looked as elegant as the pictures above but I look better than the very first time I was shown how to do them!

Not only that but I was doing these stretches on a ‘power plate’ this morning and for me, that is impressive!

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I guess to some it doesn’t seem much doing these stretches but, for me & many MS’rs (people with multiple sclerosis) balance is a major issue. When I started attending the Pilates classes in February I had hardly any balance & very little co-ordination, this is one of my main reasons I started going to Pilates. Since then my core muscles needed for balance have been getting stronger.  

I’m loving seeing the changes in me physically & mentally! 

 

My body is getting stronger, slimmer and healthier everyday

My Pilates instructor is away now for 2 weeks, when she comes back I’d love for her to see an improvement in my stamina!

Practice, practice, practice until perfect! This is my promise I make to myself!

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That moment when you just have to sit down!

You have to laugh don’t you! I started writing this last week during the heatwave & completely forgot all about it!

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That moment when you just have to sit down

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My MS really doesn’t like this English weather!

It’s been another beautiful day and I’ve unfortunately been a very busy girly again!
It would have been so nice to have sat in my egg chair and enjoyed the sun especially as the humidity wasn’t too bad this morning!

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That wasn’t planned for me today though!
I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to Pilates just yet after passing out during Wednesdays class! So I had booked our 12 year old Labrador Olivia (Ollie for short) in at the vets for further investigation into a lingering UTI (Urinary tract infection)
At least by booking this appointment I knew I definitely couldn’t go to pilates, this was a very important appointment!

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I also had to go into town today to collect some clothes Deb had ordered & pay money into the bank. No worries, in & out in no time

Famous last words! The que in the bank was horrendous, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand for too long and so as usual I managed to find something solid I could lean on whilst I waited.
It was so warm in there though! I could feel my temperature rising so I grabbed my little fan out of my bag! That did the job! I love the summer but I wish my MS did too!

Off to collect Debs clothes, the shop in needed is in a Shopping Mall, oh no!  The Shopping Mall has a glass rough! I knew just what that meant!
I could feel the heat from the sun beaming down on me through the glass! The more I walked & the weaker my legs felt!

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Oh here it comes! It’s ‘the’ MS walk, you know the one that leaves people wondering if you’ve had one to many Brandys!

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Weaker & weaker, I’ll be crawling soon! I’ve passed the benches & the cafe’s! The shop I need is closer than turning back! Come on legs, don’t let me down!


The automatic doors open & I could feel the coolness from the AC!

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The shop assistant welcomed me & I explained I was there for a collection but I also wanted to browse. I grabbed a handful of clothes & headed to the changing room! I knew this place well & knew there would be a seat in that changing room! That’s all I wanted, to sit down!

So much better! I smiled & realised the clothes I had grabbed were actually a size too small!
Then I remembered what I received last night!…

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Don’t be suprised if I don’t cheer for the heat of the sun

Constraints of my MS

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Most MS’rs, myself number 1 on the list, just can’t stand the heat of the sun! 

MS & HEAT

Don’t get me wrong, I love to see the sun! Everyone smiles when the sun comes out to play but MS generally HATES heat of any kind!
Heat for me brings out all & I mean all of my symptoms worse than ever!

MS & Heat

It makes me sluggish, it enhances my fatigue ten fold, it enhances my pain & because my fatigue is worse that means I can’t cope with my pain and so pain appears worse!
It gives me eye fatigue! Yep, eye fatigue which then means my vision suffers!
And if you hadn’t guessed, it makes me cranky!

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I’m sorry I’m negative about the sunshine but these things you need to know!

When the sun shines all I really want to do is curl up into a ball & sleep in the coolest place I can find!

So many people get so happy to see the sun & feel it’s heat! Please don’t be surprised if I don’t smile as much when it’s hot outside! Just know that I feel your love for the sun & wish I could be as enthusiastic about it as you but I just can’t!

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I’ve come up with some pictures to help show people how MS affects my vision, please remember though that everyone’s MS is different.

An example of someone who has normal vision looking into my back garden or ‘Fugly Manor Nature Reserve’ 

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An example of my normal vision after damage left from optic neuritis 

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An example of my vision when it’s too hot for me

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Uhthoff’s phenomenon

Uhthoff’s phenomenon or Uhthoff’s sign is the temporary worsening of symptoms – most often visual symptoms but sometimes motor or sensory – caused by an increase in temperature. The visual symptoms may present as double vision, sharpness of vision, or black spots in the eyes.

The symptom takes its name from Wilhelm Uhthoff, a German neuro-opthamologist, who first described it in 1890

An example of what follows if I continue to get too hot!

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Dizziness and vertigo

Dizziness or lightheadness is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis. If the sensation is more severe and gives the feeling that surroundings are spinning, it is referred to as vertigo.

In MS, these symptoms are caused by damage to areas that co-ordinate perception and response to visual and spatial information.

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Sun kissed

Like mother like daughter on this subject!

I am the first one to tell someone how silly they are for not looking after themselves in the sun!

It doesn’t matter what country you are in to apply sun cream, the sun still burns in the UK!

You don’t even have to be sun-bathing to apply sun cream, the sun still burns when you are doing some gardening!

Remembering to apply water proof sun cream is just as important too, the sun still burns when you are in the sea!

The thing to remember is the sun will burn you no matter what country you are in!

The sun doesn’t even care if you are on holiday or not, if it sees you out even just taking your lunch break outside because ‘the sun has got his hat on’ He won’t take off his hat to greet you, no, he’ll get straight to work with his powerful UV rays and he’ll fry you to a crisp!

I recently read an article about people using the sun to burn pictures onto their body

Actor Vin Diesel from the Fast & Furious films hails this craze as ‘glorious’ on his Twitter account he says “Sunburnt art is a Real Thing, and it’s Glorious”

I for one cannot see how letting the sun do this to your body is glorious when skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world!

There are more than 100,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer every year in the UK!

Annually 13,000 people are diagnosed and there are more than 2,000 deaths, and the death rate is rising!

I know this seems very different from my normal blogs about MS, exercise & positivity but it still links with a treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) called ‘Natalizumab’ also known as Tysabri.

Natalizumab is also linked with Melanoma although the association is unclear, in my opinion it is better to stay safe & protect yourself against the sun and its UV rays!

The truth about exposing yourself to the sun without protection is that you are actually exposing yourself to radiation! Now you have to admit, the word radiation is scary! So why do people do it? Why do people purposely lie in the sun without the required protection against first or second-degree burns?

That’s what sunburn actually is, did you know that? How do you feel about it now?

Time to start using sun cream?

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All that said, I am now naming and shaming myself!

Yes, you read that correctly! The picture above is the sunburn I got over the weekend whilst I was in the garden sewing some late seeds & pottering around doing my best to tidy.

I didn’t even give it a second thought to put sun cream on which is so unlike me!

I know by sharing this picture I will very likely be getting told off by friends and family and I accept it! I deserve the telling off because it was very stupid of me not to put sun cream on! Especially as I take ‘Natalizumab’ or Tysabri, I have a fair complexion & I have a suspicious mole that you can see in the picture.

Unprotected exposure to extreme sunlight and ultraviolet radiation is dangerous, it hurts & it looks ugly when the dead skin starts to ‘peal’

Don’t do it!

Wear the correct factor sun cream, a hat, drink as much water as you u leak out & don’t stay in it for too long at any one time!

Enjoy the time you have, spend it wisely & don’t regret the time you spent in the sun unprotected!

A weekend to remember!

So last week I was like…

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Then last Friday, thanks to being able to return to exercise after having my back procedure-surgery-thingymebob I was all like “let’s…

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And I over came another obstacle when my MS anxiety kicked in due to ‘Change’

I knew that my normal pilates instructor wouldn’t be teaching on Friday, a different lady was filling in for Kate!

I’m so glad Kate told me about this!
I had a choice, face up to my anxiety of change or let my MS win and ruin what kept me so positive through the physical  pain of the week before….

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I did it! I attended pilates and I took my normal space, at the front of the class next to the instructor!

I’m so glad I didn’t let my MS win! The instructor ‘Hannah’ was lovely! It was a different kind of pilates, different is good! Change IS good!

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After the class Hannah asked me to hang back and wait for her.
She had been asked by my wonderful pilates instructor/guru to walk with me down the stairs. How lovely!

Due to the combination of my MS tremors after exercise & then the heat from outside of the air conditioned dance hall, I get quite weak so Kate always walks with me to my car. She had asked Hannah to do the same & she did. So kind!

I chatted with Hannah & a friend of hers for quite a while. They wanted to know all about me, my MS & my journey. It was great to share my story with them both, I think I did a good job of raising MS awareness!

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That was Friday, a brilliant day that really lifted my spirits!

I had know idea what was planned for the rest of the weekend & neither did my partner.
Neither of us knew that the next day was going to be possibly one of the most exciting days of our lives, well mine for definite!…..

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But before I sign off here’s some teasers for you…

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My next blog, continuing from this one will contain these

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These…

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And this person…

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Intrigued much?