Friday, April 20, 2012

Serious bit

Well, it’s Friday night and to say I’m excited would be an understatement! I’m beside myself! It has all come down to this. Whenever anyone has asked me today how I’m feeling I’ve said the same thing. “I’ve done all the training that I can and if I’m not ready now I never will be” so that being said fingers crossed and I’ll see what happens tomorrow.

I guess I can’t say much tonight so I’m going to save it all for next week but what I have done is ask Beth and Graham the two people Smug Git, Steve (the Don) and I are riding for to send me some information on how MS has affected their lives and you can see how far all your wonderful donations will go.
This is what Beth sent me.

Many thanks to Izzi, Iain and the thousands of cyclists taking part in the BP MS 150 next April.

I am touched by Izzi’s offer to do this long and grueling bike ride on my behalf. (I expect to be buying her ‘a drink’ for the rest of our lives!) For all of you who know Izzi, (or have been following her recent blog) you’ll understand what a great challenge this is for her.

I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August 2004, whilst still living in Scotland. Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS ‘sufferers’ in the world.
I had been working full time as a Learning Support Assistant in my local secondary school when I was diagnosed. My original symptoms were drop-foot and numbness on the left side of my face and in my left hand.

For the medical professionals to diagnosis the condition of Multiple Sclerosis one has to have a MRI of the brain together with a Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) and a ‘sit down’ with a Neurologist.

It is believed that my form of MS is Relapsing/Remitting MS.

Having moved to the US within a year of my diagnosis, I started interferon treatment in December 2006. This involves 3 injections a week as well as tablet form medication to help with my fatigue, bladder/bowel control and, at times, depression. Despite suffering from heat sensitivity, I love living in Texas and waking up to the sunshine almost every morning……..a very rare happening in Scotland!

MS presents itself in many different ways and it would seem, no two patients are the same! This is what makes treatment for the disease so difficult. I consider myself to be one of the fortunate ones as I am able to lead a fairly ‘normal’ life. Although I was once pretty athletic and took part in most sporting activities, I am now unable to do so. I am unable to run but can walk pretty quickly, if needed. My balance isn’t the best but as long as I ‘know my limits’ I can get about fairly easily. I am still able to support my Scottish and English football teams, (Glasgow) Rangers and Arsenal!

It is believed that there are 5 stages of Multiple Sclerosis:

Benign MS
Approximately, 20% of MS ‘sufferers’ have Benign MS. After one or two attacks with complete recovery and without any disability, this form or stage of MS does not worsen with time and there is no permanent disability or disease progression.

Relapsing/Remitting MS
Approximately, 25% of MS ‘sufferers’ have Relapsing/Remitting MS. In this form or stage of MS there are sporadic attacks (exacerbations, relapses), during which new symptoms appear and/or existing ones become more severe. They can last for varying periods (days or months) and are followed by partial or total recovery and remission.

Secondary/Progressive MS
Approximately, 40% of MS ‘sufferers’ have Secondary/Progressive MS. Individuals who initially had Relapsing MS (clear-cut attacks and remissions), over time (10 - 15 yrs) the disease pattern changes, evolving into the Progressive stage. Recovery from attacks become less and less complete, deficits increase and disability grows.

Primary/Progressive MS
Approximately, 12% of MS ‘sufferers’ have Primary/Progressive MS. This form of MS is characterized by a slow steady onset, usually beginning with walking difficulties; steadily worsening motor dysfunctions and increased disability, but with a total lack of distinct inflammatory attacks.

Progressive/Relapsing MS
Approximately, 3% of MS ‘sufferers’ have Progressive/Relapsing MS. This subtype of Progressive MS is more complex; although its overall course mirrors P/P MS in terms of disability, it differs. It includes periods of acute exacerbations that look like Relapsing MS either early on or after many years have elapsed, but lost functions never return.

Progressive/Relapsing is the most dreaded MS form; it was known as Marburg MS and demonstrates the need for protracted steroid therapy, with a high mortality rate.

Thank you!

Here is an email we received from Grahams mum.

Dear Izzi and Iain,

I am writing to thank you very much indeed for once again supporting Graham in the MS Sponsored Cycle. Alison tells us that this year Iain is wearing a bandanna for Graham and it means so much to us all to have your support in America.

Graham was diagnosed with MS on 1 October 1998 and is now totally physically incapacitated. He has carers in 5 times a day and they are so good with him. He still has a very sharp mind and wicked sense of humour and remains remarkably cheerful which helps us all to cope.

We are so grateful to you and wish you both a successful, accident-free run. We shall be thinking of you. Have fun.

With love and thanks from Catherine and Adam xx

All that is left for me to say after that is night, night and tomorrow I will literally be riding my butt off (I hope). However knowing me I’ll be the only one who can ride 150 and gain 4 pounds.

And it’s still not too late if you want to donate.

Here is my link

Thanks for reading see y’all next week when you get to read all about it, can’t wait!… love Iz

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