I finally got a few minutes to put proper blog posts together… so indulge me if you will.
You’ve all read this point that the surgery went off problem free. While there have been no immediate improvements, I honestly do feel that it’s only a matter of time before I begin to see some amelioration in my condition. The trip is about more than just venous angioplasty — it’s about hard physio- harder physical therapy than I’ve ever undergone in Canada. It’s about creating a new support structure, one replete with people going through the same things as I am. And what came as the biggest surprise — it’s about learning when to ask for help, even though I don’t want it, and even though I don’t think I need it.
Most people reading this know how pragmatic I am; my atheistic views on life are an example of that. That’s not to say that I’m devoid of any sort of spirituality, I just have a hard time believing in a deity, at least one that controls life as we know it. And if there is one, well… I have some choice words for ‘it’. I don’t know if the surgery will have any impact on my condition. But if ever I were to try something such as this, even with minimal risk, I think best to do it for the disease takes an even stronger hold on my system. And that’s why I’m down here – to try. I tried Rebif, a first-line treatment for MS. It did nothing but leave me feeling like a bag of crap on days posts an injection, as well as leave the area around my belly button littered with bruises from the self injector. I tried Tysabri, only to have a neurologist (Dr. Mark Freedman as matter of fact) suggests that I discontinue that and instead began treatment with the chemotherapy drug used to treat leukemia. The chemo drug, as a third line treatment, was the first one that had an impact on my disease course, and though it didn’t make it any better it’s certainly stopped in its tracks for about 27 months that I was able to take (that is the maximum allowable). So drug one didn’t work. Drug two, though not given much of a chance, likely wouldn’t have had much of an impact either. Drug three hit the pause button on the progression but did nothing to make me better. But this treatment, this venous angioplasty, at least as in the protocol laid out by Dr. Zamboni, has had positive impacts on so many people. The why is still kind of up in the air; are strictures in the jugular/azygous veins really and truly the cause of this insidious, crippling, progressive disease? We don’t know… but I was desperate enough to give it a shot.
Some good will certainly come of this, even if not to my disease, its progression, or its impact on me; the blood thinners that I’m going to be taking for the next month will keep me from drinking. In the very least, there is a silver lining there. But exactly how this is all gonna go down is still one giant question mark. I beseech you all stick around and see what comes of it; at least in my case.
A big part of me being here came from a string of fundraisers. Each and every person that donated wants an answer to the same question I do. And while I was sad not to have immediate results, I believe they will come. I’m back in the hospital Wednesday for a post-op Doppler to ensure that the angioplasty was effective in clearing the blockage. Stay tuned…