Because Everybody Loves a Top Ten List

25 Feb

I have been assured that my case is not urgent or critical, though I am leaning towards accepting immunotherapy to better support remission. This will not be discussed clinically until late May, so this is all I know right now.

Let’s talk about what it looks like when things are “not urgent”. If MS is a body of water, I am ankle deep right now, though I stepped off a ledge for a moment and had a scare, I appear to be getting my bearings back.

I would say that things certainly looked and felt urgent on January 27 when I first saw a neurologist. I am still not back to all better, but much improved. This week I am going to give you a Top Ten list of things I couldn’t do, or had difficulty with, on January 27, that has now improved.

10. I can walk across a dark room with ease. I could not feel my feet, so stumbled over every little thing.

9. I can drive. Lacking feeling in my right foot meant that I had no idea how much or how little pressure to apply to brakes and gas. I took myself off the road when I found myself driving 78 in a 55.

8. I can put my pants on standing up, one leg at a time. Do you have any idea what a skill that is? I remember the morning in mid January when I realized I would have to sit down, because I did not have the balance to raise one leg long enough to put my leg through a pants leg. It was a gut punch morning.

7. I can tuck my chin to my chest without a sudden electrical shock going throughout my body. If you’ve never experienced this sensation, I can’t explain it. It’s not painful, but it is annoying enough that I would avoid movement to bring it about. Today, I like to tuck my chin just to check. Yep. Still gone.

6. I can wear my cute flats. The numbness in my feet is still there, but so vague as to be more a hint of numbness. It takes a lot of work to keep shoes on your feet. Did you know this? At my recent worst I could only wear shoes that tied on, strapped on, zipped on, or was otherwise welded to my feet. I cannot describe the extreme discomfort I felt, trying to walk and hold on a shoe, something I tested in my closet every few days. On this past Saturday, I tried on my favorite red leather driving flats and found I could walk with ease in them. Though I think I am still weeks away from being able to wear them all day.

5. Sitting down is no longer a trust fall. My poor balance, together with numbness that persisted through my legs and up my waist, made sitting down a thing to think about. I had to see the chair, make note of its exact area, turn with my back to the chair, find something to brace myself with, look back at the chair, then slowly lower myself until I stopped lowering, trusting that it is the chair beneath me, because I could not feel it.

4. I can turn my head and look at a different place than where I am walking, still walk in my desired direction, and not tangle my feet.

3. I can walk up and down stairs without looking at my feet. I still do to be sure and avoid stairs if I can, but have tested it and can do it.

2. I can step up and over the side of my tub/shower without having a whole long moment of getting a lay of the land, finding my feet, deciding which foot gets to try first, finding a place to put my hand, wondering if I should get rails installed… totally over that.

1. My walking gait without a cane is just as good as with. On February 5, when I shared James, I used a cane because that was the only way to walk without thudding steps like a toddler. Now, I use the cane because I am still so  very easily tired and it’s nice to lean on like a walking stick.


So, there’s my update for the week. I don’t know much more than last week about what my next steps are, but I at least know that I can step. Thank you all for keeping up with me.

2 Responses to “Because Everybody Loves a Top Ten List”

  1. Dianne February 25, 2020 at 12:44 pm #

    I can’t express how I wait for your updates with great anticipation You are on my heart constantly and I pray for your strength and healing daily. If you ever want to talk, call. I will be here. Love you much!

  2. carolyncounterman February 25, 2020 at 7:07 pm #

    That is an awesome Top 10 list, Amy!

Honest Truth About Me: I'm going to need a lot of cheer leading to see this through. Your comments and encouragement mean the world to me.

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