Tuesday, 19 August 2014

#28 Flare-ups, Attacks and Relapses

A relapse is the appearance of a new symptom, or the significant worsening of old neurological symptoms, lasting more than 24 hours and occurring without fever or acute illness.

It was once thought that each relapse indicated the development of a new lesion in the brain. But, apparently only one lesion in ten cause symptoms and an attack can occur because of the creation of a new lesion or the enlargement of an old.

There are differing opinions on how to treat relapses, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Often it’s advised to just rest more, like we don’t already do that, and not as a conscious choice but as we can’t do anything else with the increased fatigue and other symptoms.

I recognize that with each flare-up I’ve reached, or more like fallen, to a new level, and I will never regain my original state. It’s been a gradual thing, subtle changes that I’ve adapted to with time.

The summer of 2010, with its continuous heat, brought about a flare-up with my new symptom, the L’Hermitte’s sign. My doctor made arrangements for me to be seen at the Kingston MS Clinic. I am afraid to drive into the city and after all the time that’s passed since my last appointment in Toronto, it seemed a logical decision.

The consultation at the MS Clinic didn’t take place until the next spring. The first step was to have a complete set of MRIs, brain and spinal cord. Again it was a waiting game, waiting for the appointment and waiting for the results.

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