So I was diagnosed with MS back in February after having a limp in my walk and really bad slurred speech. I was given IV steroids for 3 days and oral steroids for two days. Since then, both my walk and my speech returned to "normal". For all of March, I felt good. Then around the beginning of April, I had what I could only describe as fatigue. I was super tired waking up and throughout the day. My left arm was also sore, felt heavy and kinda difficult to be active with it. I was worried it was a relapse/attack since I've read new symptoms could be a sign of it and I hadn't experienced these feelings before. I went to the ER and the doctor there saw me and said that I looked ok, and gave me oral steroids to hold me over until my next neurology visit (5/14). After taking the steroids for a week and a half, my fatigue has improved, I now only feel super tired consistently around when I usually go to bed. Though my fatigue isnt as bad as it was a month ago, my arm still feels a little heavy and sore at times and the fatigue is still here at night. I was wondering if all these new symptoms were a new attack or relapse or just my new normal. I go see a neurologist soon but the idea of an attack or relapse scares me and not dealing with it effectively on time stresses me out too. Did me taking steroids help out? How do I tell the difference between an attack/relapse or just the typical MS symptoms that come and go?
Hello bryan, Fatigue is number one for all of us, nearly all the time, so it is usually not a sign of things acting up. There are various drugs for fatigue that are prescribed.
Sometimes the brain gets shorted out when we get stressed and only you can know if your stress level is more than usual, but of course, learning about the new challenge in your life, one that wont go away would spike concern for the best of us. Besides that, repetive activity is also excessive for us, too much of a good thing can short the wires some more. Have you been doing one repetive job like painting the house? that would over work the arm nerves. Spasms will do it too.
It is always an either or scenario, we must learn to examine our behavior, sometimes writing down what we do to keep track of our actions help, because forgetting is not just for us old people, our short term memory is always at question.
Remeber, our brains are being assaulted by ms. you will with time, learn how much we stress our minds over everything out of habit and not because it is a useful exercise. A quiet mind is the best companion you will have. Learning how to be peaceful, no matter what, is the best way to thrive with ms. Even through an exacerbation. Stress is our nemesis.
It has been said that if you feel worse and it lasts for a week it may be an exacerbation, the operative word is may. An mri will determine if there is disease activity. But, you have been on steroids recently and your body is also reacting to that invasion.
Usually, a new diagnosis is based upon recent activity, like being in a fight, your body has been beaten up by all the nerve activity sparked by an exacerbation. In the old days a boxing match was fifteen rounds, you have gone through twenty! Tight muscles are the nerves way of kicking us in the butt and we instinctively react to stress by tensing our muscles unconsciously, so you have to learn to keep soft muscles, to be aware of how you are carrying your body.
There is a post: Take Charge of My MS, that has exercises for relaxation techniques to quiet the mind and relax the muscles, they are helpful.
Bryan, my advice based upon my own life, would be 3 things:
LET GO OF STRESS -- force yourself! Stress is a killer in MS. And get GOOD, QUALITY SLEEP!
Eat very healthy -- stay away from fatty hamburgers, hot dogs, sodium here for a long while and probably forever!
Make an appointment with an MS specialist and not a regular neurologist, so that you don't go down rabbit trails. The right answer is very important for you.