Thanks again to everybody for all your kind wishes and inquiries about my health since the veinoplasty procedure in December. I know many of you know, or know of, someone living with MS, so I’m more than happy to share the latest developments of our harrowing, exciting journey.
As soon as two days post-surgery I experienced energy and strength not seen in years in my core and legs. It was quite remarkable, and rather hard to believe. Stephen saw it himself when we went on our first walk in over a year (I gave up walking when I couldn’t make it down our street). We stared at each other in amazement and laughed with excitement; it was strangely surreal.
Christmas was truly wonderful. I was able to enjoy the entire week with my family with unbounded energy and joy. My kids were so surprised and happy. What a gift!
In all my exuberance however, I must have overtaxed my body, because I caught a nasty cold. My newfound energy faded along with the exhilaration and hope.
With the cold mostly gone, I’m happy and relieved to report that the new strength is returning. Not as dramatic as that first week, but there are definite improvements in my gait, stamina and balance. I’m back on the treadmill, and slowly incorporating new exercises into my workout.
The MS is far from gone; the tactility and dexterity of my hands hasn’t improved and I still have fatigue — though not the old, debilitating, total exhaustion. I’m in no way as stable or strong as a ‘healthy’ person of my age — but that’s OK, this is far more than I expected. My hope was that the surgery would halt progression of the disease; at my late stage (eighteen years since diagnosis) I hadn’t even considered the possibility of improvement before this procedure. Every day I feel blessed having this opportunity for a better quality of life, even if it only lasts for a while.
Doctors don’t know the duration or extent of these improvements, assuming you’re fortunate to have improvements (not everyone does). They don’t understand much at all about this procedure, except that many people feel better and that there’s enough evidence to warrant further study. Some studies are already underway in the US and around the world — in pretty well every country except Canada. It’s too bad the MS Society of Canada and the Canadian government are lagging so pathetically behind. Liberal health critic Ujjal Dosanjh and fellow MP Dr. Kirsty Duncan launched a blistering attack on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada in the January 4th edition of the Vancouver Sun, and there’s talk of a class-action lawsuit against them for both damages and criminal negligence, though no one has so far actually initiated this daunting task.
Nevertheless, the procedure is available, and it’s all because of one man — Dr. Paolo Zamboni, whose determination and love for his wife, who suffers from MS, may have finally begun to unlock the mystery of MS and provide relief to over two and a half a million desperate people.