Friday, 3 September 2010

Susie's 50th birthday is approaching!

Susie, my wife, has always wanted a personalised registration number, what the Americans call a licence plate. I've given in! We bought it now even although her birthday isn't for another four months. She's delighted with it and will transfer the number onto her car sometime soon. Here it is:

Injections - arrgghh!

The Rebismart Device
I saw the MS consultant in March for my annual review. That appointment coincided with the numbness that had developed in my legs. The consultant ordered an MRI scan (see a previous post for the images) and a review appointment in June this year. By the time I saw the consultant in June, I had also developed numbness in my right hand. The consultant said that he would have to reconsider the diagnosis of PPMS (primary progressive multiple sclerosis) as I was obviously experiencing some classic 'relapses' - more like RRMS (relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis). As I had had two relapses in quite a short time, he recommended that I begin self-injecting with Rebif - one of the interferon - beta drugs, which acts by reducing the immune response and cuts down the progression of MS by about 20%. The injection is three times weekly and administered with a trendy little gadget called the Rebismart. It's very easy to use and obviously has a little on-board computer which guides me through the whole procedure. Yes, there's a short needle involved, but, it's never seen and hardly hurts at all. Having given thousands of injections over many years to dental patients I consider this my just desserts. Payback time!
 It does have some side effects - I can feel pretty ill and washed out for a day or two after injecting, I've had itchiness of my hands, pain in my feet and there's a risk of serious liver damage! Therefore, regular blood tests are necessary. I've just reached the highest maintenance dose and I'll report back soon as to how I'm getting on.

Apologies for the late MS update.

I really need to apologise. It's been too long since I last posted anything, and truth be told, there has been too much going on and I wasn't quite sure how much to commit to the very public internet!
I posted quite a lot about the problem I had with my legs and the lower half of my body in general. That is a lot better, but some of the numbness and other physical effects remain. Just when I was getting back to work in May I developed tingling in my right hand. This got worse until I had a partial numbness and stiffness which has been with me now for about four months. This has stopped me working in dental clinics and teaching the students at Glasgow Dental School as I can't hold the dental handpiece (drill) safely as I might drop it. I have been attending work and doing a desk job for the last few months. My employers are very aware of the situation and I know that unless there is dramatic improvement soon then my future in dentistry is in serious doubt. This is very sad for me, as I've always loved my job and considered it a privilege to work with patients and then latterly young people entering the profession currently in their undergraduate years. I've been somewhat reticent about posting information about my hand problems as I'm aware of the serious implications for me if this continues. I'll post quite soon with an update on this.