/ multiple-sclerosis

New year, new relapse?

New Year's Day I (re)developed foot drop quite badly along with some weakness in my right leg. Whilst I've been getting foot drop and a bit of weakness from driving or riding for a year now this was different. This was more like the foot drop that I got back in 2017 but a bit worse and the leg weakness definitely worse. This wasn't intermittent, it was full time. By the weekend I was walking with a stick and unable to drive. If I was to sit down on a chair then I couldn't lift my right leg, if I lifted it with my hand and let go then it'd fall straight away - I was unable to hold it up at all. As luck would have it, I already had an appointment to see my neurologist that Monday.

The appointment went as normal with the EDSS tests, chat and various other tests. We (He) decided that I'd have a barrage of blood and urine tests and a MRI scan ASAP. The results of which would assist in deciding if I should take a course of steroids and whether I should change my Disease Modifying Drug, the next course of which is due to start next month. I'd already said that I thought the steroids were a good idea on this occassion, to speed up the time to recovery.

The MRI scan was that Friday at 7PM(!) and went normally, loud n bangy. I was in the machine for around 40 minutes. This week things have been recovering, the foot drop is almost gone and leg strength is slowly returning but the fatigue in the leg is still quite bad. If I lift it 5-10 times then each time it's harder to lift until I can't really. Luckily work have been good about it and I've worked from home all this week and most of last week too. I'm hoping to be in the office a couple of times next week though.

As recovery seems to have begun it means that steroids are pointless. Now I just wait to see how well it recovers and see what the MRI shows up. I should have another appointment with my consultant next month where I'll find out if this was actually a relapse (as it's symptoms that I've had before it's possible that it isn't).

I've now also had the letter from the appointment and it took 25 seconds for my right hand (last time was 27 seconds) and 26 seconds for my left (25 seconds last time) on the 9 hole peg test. The 25m walk took me 17 seconds, up from 15 seconds last time. My EDSS stayed at 4.0 (out of 10, where 10 is death). The blood and urine tests all look fine from my limited googling of various acronyms with the words "blood level", guess my neurologist will also confirm that. The physical examination results seemed to be much the same as previously but with added pyramidal pattern weakness to grade 4- in my hip, knee, and ankle on the left side with grade 4 in hip and knee on the right side. This time tandem walking was also impossible, but I already knew that as I was there at the time...

Sod's law is that the DVLA wrote to me the first week of the year to tell me that I need to renew my driving license and so my neurologist will have to disclose this possible relapse which may lead to a driving assessment. That'll be fun.

Other than this, the Botox seems to be wearing off a little but still doing the job that it needs to do. Most disurbing is that I've only ridden a bike once so far this year (to get to work). I've also given up alcohol as that really seems to do my legs no favours at all. This happened just after Christmas during which I more or less abandoned my usual diet so that's given me something to think about, coincidence? Who knows, but even for the sake of a small chance of it being related I think it's worth getting back to it. On the plus side though - not leaving the house much, following an almost vegan diet and not drinking booze sure is a cheap January!

New year, new relapse?
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