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Exacerbation Summary
January 1996

The initial symptoms were speech and leg control. I was able to think about what I wanted to say but was unable to speak complete sentences. The words were not slurred but rather not connected. There was a much higher than normal level of fatigue. It was most notable in controlling my legs when walking.

Steroid treatments had an immediate effect. My speech control was almost back to normal in two days. Speech was normal within a week. Fatigue level dropped but my normal high level from steroids did not take place. Walking strength did not return for over ten days.

After a month, speech and thinking are normal. Physical strength level did not return to pre-exacerbation level. Body strength, leg endurance, seems to have leveled out at 85-90% of prior ability.

A noticed change is energy. Cylert had already become necessary twice daily to function for 12-14 hours. Now a single tablet affects level for only 3-4 hours. This is most noticeable in the mornings around 10-11 AM. Neck, shoulders, arms and legs get weak. Mental alertness seems in tack but functions such as speaking or moving gets fuzzy and not worth the effort. Thirty minutes after another 1/2 tablet of Cylert and I am able to go until my afternoon dosage.

There is a similar effect in the evenings. At 6-7 PM my energy level is fine and activity normal. By 8-9 PM my level starts to drop rapidly. My ability to function or interact has ended. I have not tried another 1/2 tablet booster in fear of messing up my sleeping habits. Napping in the afternoon, as on weekends, seems to be needed but has not altered the pattern.

Thought on MS

One thing I find difficult every day is attempting not to dwell on what I have not accomplished. Logically I know my family would be happier and I would be happier if I focus on what I have done and what I am doing at the moment. Yet, that seems just out of my reach.

I have always been limited but I never slowed down. Now I am no longer working out of the home but even routine things do not get done. Sometimes I can not focus and put things into priority. Sometimes I start a task and have to stop before it is complete. Sometimes I can not do anything other than vegetate like a potato.

I make list after list to keep me focused. More items get moved to tomorrow's list than get crossed out on today's. I am still able to do the 'must complete' items but often that takes a huge effort leaving me with little to spare. It is frustrating to rise in the morning not knowing if I will be able to do something for me after the necessary things are done.

I consciously work at seeing what I have completed but it is minimal to what I have been able to do in the past. I attempt to focus upon and enjoy what I am doing but I still have those 'other things' in the back of my mind. I know what I can do has value to my family and to me. I know that my family understands if I am unable to finish a task. However, knowing these things does not make it simple to adapt. I still yearn to do more, try to do more, and in effect, end up not doing the things that should be done.

We all know the things that needed to be done that matter. I find myself putting them off in preference to doing things that I 'think' have to be done.

Spend time with my children.....vs.....Pickling up the den

Talk with and be with my wife.....vs.....Make coffee, load dishes, and straighten the kitchen.

Call and talk with a friend or relative.....vs.....Folding cloths.
Visit with an elderly neighbor.....vs.....Cleaning the bathroom.

Spend time in Nature.....vs.....Watching the news.

When I do not worry about all the chores, I enjoy the thing I am doing. When I take a nap because I am tired, I am more pleasant to those around me. When I allow others to do the work I can not, I can give them attention during a break. When I get an atta-boy for the few things I do, I rest better at night. When I avoid self-guilt, it is easier for me to love another.

I wish It was that easy but it is very hard to change a life time of habits and to re-evaluate yourself. I know what I must do and the value to everyone when I do it. It does not make much sense for an intelligent person to devalue what is important. I hope that soon I will be able to adapt without guilt or self-pity.

All My Symptoms

Through my pages I talk about the various symptoms my doctors believe are a result of by-product of MS. The following is a list of all that I have experienced thus far but are by no means all that an MSer might see. If you want to discuss any them with me just send an Email

  1. Fatigue
  2. Weakened Muscles
  3. Muscle Control
  4. Decreased Vision
  5. Slured Speach
  6. Slower Thought Processing
  7. Some Blatter Control
  8. Short Term Memory Loss
  9. Sensitivity to Heat
  10. Sensitivity to Noise
  11. Cognitive Overload
    1. --- by-products ---
    2. pain in arms
    3. pain in neck
    4. pain in hands
    5. falling
    6. depression
    7. erections
    8. balance

Current Medications, 1/30/99
  1. Avonex - Weekly
  2. Cylert 3x daily, 37.5mg
  3. Effexor, 2x daily, 75mg
  4. Zestril, daily, 5mg
  5. Lescol, daily, 20mg
  6. Viagra