Friday, February 20, 2009

My Fundraising Picture

Friday, February 20, 2009

I could have possibly selected a nicer picture for my MS fundraising MS Society of Canada page least that's the feeling I got after my wife saw the picture.
Of course I have many so-called normal pictures you know the ones that you see everyday of people at special occasions or just everyday pictures depicting life as normal.
My goal in selecting this picture was to show something out of the ordinary the different faces MS can have. I have to be honest and admit that not too many people had seen this photo as most would think it's quite embarrassing to post yet it is MS and what I live with each and every day.

MS is unpredictable, most peoples symptoms come and go. The common theme or comment is "I Have MS But MS Does Not Have Me." To which I say bull.
I will be the first to admit that having a positive attitude when dealing with this type of disease is essential it provides strength. If you believe that you can overcome this disease by following special diets, using bee sting therapy or any one of the many so-called cures out there I tilt my hat for your efforts. Yet let me tell you from personal experience that when MS decides to strike by shutting down organs in your body well I don't care how positive you are what diet you are following or to what you credit your well-being I can guarantee you it will bring you down.
Plain and simple when your brain does not receive signals from your organs those organs will not operate or function the way they should and as a result you will have to bend or succumb to the limitations placed upon you. That is not to say that you should not remain positive and optimistic yet try to remain realistic.
I know enough about this disease to understand and accept its course. It comes as no surprise to me that one day I am fine and on another day I'll take a fall and end up with a bruised aching body. Even worse a while back my bladder stopped functioning the way it should as a result I was forced to wear a Foley catheter first to empty my bladder which had accumulated over 1000 mL of urine when the normal quantity is less than 400 mL. After reading and studying yet another part of our anatomy I found that there are multitude signals which are transmitted to and from the brain by way of the spinal cord, these signals encompass everything from giving you a sense that you must go and when you're ready opening the passage for the urine to be expelled and finally constriction of the bladder to force the fluid out. Simple enough yet if any of signals goes astray you are left with a full bladder, an extended bladder finally a UTI or urinary tract infection which can lead to serious complications.

They installed the Foley catheter to first empty my bladder which provided immediate relief, the Dr. decided to leave it in for several days in order to provide time for my bladder to regain its normal shape as it had been stretched. After five days the Foley catheter was removed yet two days later I was back in emergency and I had it reinstalled. This of course the week before my spouse and I were planning on spending our 30th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas.
I requested the catheter be removed and to receive training in self catheterization I had no intention of going to Vegas with a bag strapped to my chair. The training went well although it is somewhat intimidating and believe me if you have any sense of dignity it is lost at this time. Under the watchful eye of a nurse you begin by disinfecting the area in question then you lubricate the catheter which is basically a hollow tube approximately 1 foot long. It must be kept sterile so it is important that you insert the tip of the catheter into your penis without touching anything if you do you have to start all over again.
The tube is inserted very slowly, very slowly until which time as the tip of the catheter forces its way through the opening into your bladder. If there is any pain it is at that moment yet it only lasts for a second or two, once the tube has entered your bladder urine immediately starts to flow through the tube and hopefully into a receptacle you are holding with your other hand. Once done you extract the catheter very slowly in order to capture all of the urine then it's a matter of removing the catheter throwing it out if your insurance plan is good or keeping it to wash it for reuse if your insurance plan is cheap. I was fortunate and I wouldn't have cared either way the risk of infection far outweighed the cost of a catheter.

That is just one example of what can be encountered with MS yet there are so many. Shortly before our return to Gatineau from Toronto I started losing my eyesight from my left eye and lost it totally it took almost one year for my sight to return which it did with no medication whatsoever. Obviously there was no scarring on the optic nerve causing permanent damage.

Finally just because you see me and I appear well does not mean everything is working well, I know enough about the disease to understand that no matter what type of MS you have or even what type of medication you are taking you are only delaying the inevitable.

In closing I wanted to show you a real picture of what MS was like and I trust that this explanation may help you appreciate and understand it more than you did before.

Take care

No comments:

Search This Blog