Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finding the Funny in Fear

I don't generally let fear rule my life. I've noticed some free-floating anxiety popping up lately. I'm venting it here in an attempt to flush the fears out of the darkness of my mind where they are in danger of festering and growing like a bad mold. So here they are, random, crazy projections and imaginings in no particular order:
  • My neurologist's office has canceled and rescheduled my appointment to discuss my latest MRI results two times already and now I'm not seeing him until October. What if my MS lesions have multiplied and/or grown in size and activity and the delay means that I do not start on a different/better treatment right away? What if the oral meds are not ready an/or the best fit for me and I have to switch to a med administered by intramuscular injection? What if we agree that it's time for Tysabri and I am one of the 1 in whatever who gets a fatal brain infection?
  • My GI doc and I believe that I am well enough to taper off the steroids used to treat my acute exacerbation of Ulcerative Colitis. I'm only doing it .5 mg. per week so it will take a little while. This is a good thing. I know it is. In passing, during our appointment yesterday, the doc mentioned that some people get depressed when they come off Prednisone because they liked the energy boost that the roids gave them. What if I lose the motivation that I've had since I've felt better? What if I start oversleeping every day? What if my feeling better is just a pharmacological side effect and not a true sign that my UC is in remission and that I'm doing such a good job taking care of myself? What if the really horrific symptoms come back? What if I get depressed but don't really recognize it as such until I am nutty and negative and unproductive?
  • What if I never, ever get around to editing my book and finding an agent and publisher and I die without ever publishing my book or even really trying? Will I be on my deathbed, watching my 65 cats circling my bony body and think, "Shit! I was supposed to be on Oprah and pick the actor who plays me in the movie version of Maybe I'm Just Lazy! Now I won't even get a mention on E! Entertainment's Where Are They Now? and people will think my children and grandchildren are lying when they tell people that their mother/grandmother wrote a book."
  • What if my eyesight continues to deteriorate and none of my friends tell me that I have visible facial hair and that I seem to have forgotten where the outline of my lips are located when applying lipstick?
  • What if this post inspires a whole bunch of unsolicited advice and platitudes about staying in the day, focusing on the positive, etc, etc. and the remnants of my roid rage result in me telling people what to do with their guidance, alienating me from everyone who cares about me and hastening my progression to living a pitiable life as a lonely cat lady with no social skills to get or keep friends?
That was fun. I feel better.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Today was my bi-annual MRI series. As per usual, they took images of my brain, thoracic spine, and cervical spine--with and without IV contrast.  What was atypical, though, was the overall experience.  It really wasn't bad...or...as an old boss of mine used to say when she gave feedback on designs (much to the chagrin of the graphic artist and everyone else in earshot), "I didn't hate it!"

I went to a new (to me) MRI imaging center with nice techs and nurses, awesome headphones (with a bizarre but entertaining mix of Muzak), and I was out of there in an hour and a half. I also did self Reiki throughout the scan which helped me breathe steady and relax. Not too shabby.

In a couple weeks, I have an appointment with my neurologist who will read the MRIs and let me know how my MS lesions are doing. If there are more lesions or they are active, it means I'll probably be rethinking the Copaxone. If  there is no change, I'll probably keep on keeping on with the daily injections for another 6 months.

I'm feeling really grateful. My UC has improved dramatically, my MS is really not bothering me in the least little bit these days, I'm incredibly productive while working at home, I'm really enjoying cooking in general and, specifically, creating my delicious Healthy Soup Creations as a way to reintroduce veggies into my diet, and I have amazing energy (that may or may not be just a side effect of the UC steroid meds...but I'm ok with that).