My First Week with MS

So on Tuesday, December 2nd after receiving my first steroid IV treatment in the hospital I was sent home to sleep in the comfort of my bed. Which was glorious! I was more excited to brush my teeth than anything.

My immediate treatment was to go through 3 doses of Solu-Medrol by IV (once in the hospital) and at home over the next two days. They shipped me the medication and an IV pole and arranged for a nurse to come in every day for treatment. She would hook IVAN the IV (yes I named him) to the medication on the IV pole and the drug would run through my system for an hour before she unhooked me and left. Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid. It works by modifying the body’s immune response to various conditions and decreasing inflammation. We definitely made jokes on social media with my fitness world peeps that I was going to get jacked on steroids! Again I always have to look for humour.

The hospital sent my blood work off to check for viruses that could be sitting dormant in my body. Being on the steroid treatment and lowering my immune system meant that if I had dormant viruses in my body they could now take effect. Fortunately Hep A, C & HIV tests all came back negative. I was also asked to go to my family doctor for a TB test which also came back negative. Yay for positive news!

Over the next three days, I felt ok. I rested on my sofa bed, which my mom was sleeping on while staying with me, and called in for every meeting at work that I could so I could listen in or contribute. I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any details at work even while I was resting and my office was very accommodating to calling me in. My last IV treatment was Thursday and I was so happy to get rid of IVAN. Friday, my mom and I had to run a few errands. We went to the doctor’s office for the TB test results, we had loaded up a bunch of used books and dropped them off at the used book store, drove down to Kensington Market for probiotics at my favourite health food store, grabbed healthy grass-fed meat at Sanagan’s meat locker and takeout from Fresh on Eglinton and then drove by the hospital to get my MRI scans on CD. By the time we got home, I was utterly exhausted and couldn’t explain it. I’m used to functioning at high levels and I didn’t feel like I was exerting myself but I do understand that my body needs rest more than ever.

Later that night I felt like I could barely get a breath in. I felt like my chest was being squeezed. All weekend my side effect symptoms were getting worse. I felt moody. Happy one minute and tired and sad the next. I was still having shortness of breath even while resting. I felt like I had a brain fog & I was having trouble thinking rationally. So I’d head to bed at 8 pm every night and sleep it off. Monday I was feeling better and I wanted to get back to the office. My only worry was that the Solu-Medrol solution may lower the ability of my body to fight infection. I was told to avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. It’s flu season in Toronto and everyone and their mother seems to be sick so I was a bit hesitant to join the real world again. I managed to get back into the office but got really tired and had to leave early most days my first week back.

In addition to immediate steroid therapy, I sprang into making appointments with many of my health care providers. I made an appointment with my Naturopath to discuss supplements, reached out to a Registered Holistic Nutritionist for a consultation on what I eat, made my follow up appointment with my Neurologist & emailed Soul 7 who I had visited back in October for a tour of their new healing facility in Yorkville. I believe in holistic health. I believe that I need an MS army of specialists to treat me and I intend on getting total care instead of just one avenue of care. Below are the Naturopath & Healing Wellness tactics I’m exploring.

Naturopath

Monday morning I went to the blood clinic early for blood work for my Naturopath. I’m seriously tired of needles. Wednesday morning I went to see her in the morning to review the blood work results. I also brought a bag with all my supplements in them for a full ingredient review. The good news is that the majority of my supplements are great. I need to take some of the supplements more consistently but I’m glad I have an action plan now.

My Current Supplement Regiment

HMF Forte Probiotics: 2 capsules in the morning with my warm water & 1/4 fresh lemon juice

Now Vitamin D-3: I’m currently deficient so we raised my daily IUs from 4,000 to 8,000. Taken with breakfast.

Now Vitamin B – 50: I currently take 1 capsule with my breakfast

Traumeel: I just recently bought oral pills which help in reducing inflammation. I take 3 daily.

NutraSea + D: I bought a small bottle so I can add a spoon of this to my green smoothies. I haven’t been diligent enough with getting fish oil in my diet and this has added Vitamin D to it.

I’m almost finished with my Ubermag so I’ll be looking for a new brand after this bottle is done as it’s too difficult to find in Canada.

Vitamins

The only supplement I have to put on hold at the moment is ReloraPlex which I was taking to balance my high cortisol levels.

The only new recommended product I should start taking is Pure Encapsulations – NAC which is a free radical scavenger that helps create glutathione in the body. Glutathione is used for maintaining the body’s defence system (immune system) which I need to build up so it stops attacking my myelin.

Magnum Primer: I take one pack daily with my red meat meal of the day. My naturopath loves this product and thinks it’s the perfect general health maintenance product on the market. It has the Omegas my body needs, a digestive enzyme for my gut health and is loaded with a ton of great vitamins & minerals.

In other great news, we took a deep dive into all my Magnum Supplements to ensure I’m ok to start taking them again (I’ve been off a few for the past 3 weeks), especially when I’m able to return to the gym. I’m cleared to take DNA (strength product) & Rocket Science (energy) pre-workout, Hi5 (BCAAs) intra-workout and Quattro (protein) & G (glutamine) post-workout. Glutamine will be so important for ensuring my gut health is increased post the steroid treatment. I can try Volume (muscle pump product) when I return to the gym. The most interesting thing we found is that Mimic (insulin mimicker) is actually imperative for me to take right now. My body is reacting to this diagnosis with massive stress and it thinks it’s diabetic based on my blood work so Mimic will be instrumental for me to regulate my insulin.

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Disclaimer: This is a vitamin/supplement action plan reviewed and suggested by my naturopath. Please see your health care professionals before taking anything new.

Soul 7 Healing Technologies

Thursday evening I went to Soul 7 to consult with Bob Berman, the founder & owner. We sat and chatted for 30 mins about my diagnosis, symptoms and the technology that Soul 7 has. I remember everything he told me during my first visit but we talked specifically about how they can help with an autoimmune disease. He used the ONDAMED biofeedback machine on me to scan where I am having what he calls energy blockages.

Ondamed

What fascinates me is that he asked me to not tell him where the lesions are on my body. He placed a collar around my neck and the machine releases subtle stimulation. Bob felt my pulse and if it spiked he would write down the number associated with the spike. So without knowing where the MS lesions are the machine was able to identify where the lesions are on my body. He is going to treat me with the machine over a series of 20 appointments. In the meantime, we acknowledged that I needed to start boosting my immune system back up to heal itself. I spent 30 mins on the Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) bed. This technology is FDA approved for reducing pain and tissue swelling. While napping on the bed I also listened to a 20-minute guided visualization created by Dr. Clifford Saunders, Ph.D. that addresses the mind-body connection of dealing with stress.

PEMF

After this treatment was done I moved over to take another 20-minute nap on the Neuro Muscular Vibration Therapy bed. I had tried the larger beds last time I was here and raved about the most relaxing nap ever. The bed emits multi-frequency acoustic vibrations which transmit suggested muscular and mental commands through the central, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. They placed a heating pad on top of me to keep my core body temperature high and after the two naps, I was beyond relaxed.

NMRT

I left feeling calm and peaceful and I’m excited to see how the treatments alleviate my symptoms and help me heal.

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