Posted by: sistermom1 | September 1, 2010

Can You Say “Exacerbation”?

For the first time in over a year, I am in the midst of a major exacerbation.

I got an infection, and defending against it has shaken my already out-of-control immune system to its core.  I woke up unable to even get out of our bed.  School has started for the kids, and we have started the morning grind of managing both Middle School and High School schedules.  My husband is handling all of the physical logistics of the kids’ schedule, and doing a pretty good job of it (I must get better about giving him his props!…) 

I was able to hug the kids goodbye these past three mornings, but I could not even get myself to the shower.  Experiencing pain and discomfort like this is completely different and unexpected for me, and I have really had a difficult time.   Those who have been plagued with one exacerbation after another, I can only just now acknowledge how bad this reaally can be. 

Connecting with my neurologist was my first challenge.  I typically only see him twice a year, with support provided by a wonderful MS nurse practitioner. (She has recently left the practice.)   It took me all day and three calls to speak directly with him, and that was after hours.  We had a good discussion, and he told me to call my PCP for her assessment.  I called her the next morning and got a same-day appointment, so I started to feel a little better — at least emotionally.

After seeing my PCP,  I started on the antibiotics right away.  Within 24 hours, I started feeling  better and was physically in better control of my legs, so I could actually come downstairs.  What a difference a day makes!     I am still recuperating from this curve ball which has showed me how fortunate I have been this past year, and how much I need to take control of my healthcare experience.   As an example of great timing, a good friend just sent me Elizabeth Cohen’s book The Empowered Patient, which I have almost completed and I can already recommend to anyone navigating the current healthcare landscape.  More on this book and what I have learned in a future post…..

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