A Seasonal Return
An Unexpected Hiatus
This last lapse was several months. I never expect this sort of thing but have learned to go with such a dry spell when it comes. Thank God I have enough disability insurance and the Mind of a Miser so that I can fold into myself and ignore the real world while I let my mind reconcile itself with whatever is digging at me. What was the train of thought or physical ailment which held me ransom for several months? I don't know and likely never will.
Many times in this interlude I thought to myself that I 'should' publish something to keep active, to strive for Recognition of some sort, to pay my few followers for their Faith. Each time, though, a little voice spoke to me: 'not yet...soon, maybe but not yet...' Don't ask me why but today is the day.
It can't be the weather, the new Spring; I don't like warming weather and relish the nights when I awaken to being too cold or have to stop my correspondence to friends and family because the draft from my ever-open window threatens chilblains or makes the ataxic palsy of my right arm more than my need to communicate can master.
Now, though, my feet stay warm all night and I use only one thin comforter. A single sheet will replace this in a month or so and my floor fan will run almost constantly.
I have been receiving Tysabri IV, Natalizumab USP, for almost two years. A monoclonal antibody which alters the shape and thus the effectiveness of the pore in the Blood-Brain Barrier through which T-2 lymphocytes enter and mistakenly de-myelinate my long motor nerves, its' effect is judged via sequential MRIs taken of my brain. The latest show no clear changes, which is good. This seems to go along with an increasing ease in waking to morning light and a certain Eagerness to look for and address the work of the day.
I receive Ampyra, a potassium channel blocker, which is supposed to improve walking. How? I read what the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) had to say, something I do for every new med I am prescribed and it seems to work so: Neural impulse transmission can be compared to The Wave in a football stadium. In a normal nerve, spectator standing and sitting corresponds the transfer of sodium from outside into the cell with concomitant transfer of Potassium from inside to out. Pumps in the cell membrane move sodium out and potassium in to 'recharge' the axon segment for the next impulse. Everybody sits down. If the axon is demyelinated, this transfer of ions is not properly reset. Many or most people remain standing, only slowly sitting back down. My legs easily fatigue. Ampyra blocks potassium from too-quickly leaving the cell. The sodium/potassium gradient is artificially improved; motor nerves should transmit signals a little better along damaged neuron strands. This is not a cure but helps a rickety structure to 'kinda' work in the short term. In the Wave, a sizable minority end up sitting down, ready to stand for the next Wave.
My degeneration has likely been going on for many years, only showing overtly since about 2002 or so. Unexplained tiredness in the distant past now makes sense.
From the Summit of Council Crest in Portland
It is a capital error to promise future results, especially in this, my own, situation. MS will wander along on its' own course and my grand plans mean nothing to it.
I may have been sick, subclinically, for much of my recent lapse. A very mild rhinorrhea was off and on for much of the Winter. I don't have Hay Fever and, in my experience, colds for me are a blessed rarity. However. Every five years or so I meet a virus I haven't dealt with and I can be poleaxed. Maybe this explains my writer's block.
Hopefully I am back again for a good long while.
Clouds in Oregon
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