Tuesday, September 28, 2010


A phenomenal story and video from Dave Bexfield from Active MSers, one of my favorite MS-related blogs. His story is amazing--and full of hope. Enjoy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Checking in

Yikes... has it really been almost 2 months since my last post?! Where has the summer gone???

Clearly it has been a busy one, so I'll fill you in on the highlights:

1. I have spent some quality time at the family farm this Summer--loads of fun, but it has resulted in an influx of giant woodticks on my dogs. I also got to spend a bunch of time with my niece and nephew (unrelated to the woodtick tangent, but definitely related to the farm), who are the smartest and cutest kids in the whole wide world. For real.
2. The garden has been successful, for the most part, and with a large stock of supplementary veggies from mom and dad's farm yield, I have eaten cucumbers and/or tomatoes in some form for as many days as I can remember. The sheer quantity of delicious veggies prompted me to buy a freezer, which is filling quickly with fresh tomato sauces, tomato basil soup, cucumber soup, zucchini muffins, and a handful of other delicious summertime treats. Coming soon: my fall favorite--chili, which will be made this year from the many platters of tomatoes currently filling my counters and windowsills.
3. Soccer continues--not much new there, except for some reason the past month or to have seemed outrageously hot, and I have been feeling excessively lazy on the field. Looking forward to crisp, cool autumn games... and a renewed level of exertion as temps drop down.
4. The new job is going fabulously--more new challenges than I ever expected, and a wonderful group of people to work with. Admittedly, I'm looking forward to feeling more like an "expert" in my area of alleged expertise, but for now--I'm learning a ton, and enjoying what I do.

So yeah, pretty boring stuff. In an effort to make it more exciting, I'm including a close-up shot of one of the freakin' ticks that filled itself to capacity and dropped right off my dog. Seriously gross.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

hot hot heat + soccer (in a frying pan) = carpe diem

Holy mackerel, it was hot today. Maybe not as hot as some parts of the country, but hot nonetheless. Especially for a soccer game. The heat, combined with the artificial turf surface we played on that sucks in every single degree out of the atmosphere and multiplies it by 12 before shooting it back out like a giant hair-dryer, brought back (temporarily) the more-than-a-year-old symptom of tweaked out vision in my left eye. This re-emergence can be attributed to Uhthoff's Symptom, or the phenomenon through which symptoms are prevalent during heat and/or physical activity (among other triggers).

It is entirely possible that the vision loss was purely psychological. I know that heat can exacerbate symptoms, so perhaps I'm hyper-vigilant and subsequently prone to letting my imagination get the best of me. But that doesn't matter. The important thing is that this evening's phenomenon served as a gentle reminder that I need to be out there pushing and challenging myself and getting all up in Uhthoff's grill.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Settling dust...

I am home tonight, having just returned from a lovely summer bikeride to the bookstore near my house. I have nearly forgotten the simple pleasures like this that I love about summertime, and this week I'm fortunate to be able to embrace them. I have a slow two weeks on tap after a bunch of travel (both for work and for fun), and after last weekend's championship victory, my soccer schedule has scaled back from 5 games per week to 3. I finally feel like I am settling into my new job, so a collective sense of calm is finally returning.

In the midst of the chaos that headlined the past few weeks, I have neglected my blog more than ever before. Please forgive me! I promise to bring everyone up to speed on a plethora of topics, including the MS60 that my wingman and I participated in (with amazing support of friends and family resulting in more than $700 raised for the MS Society), the amazing garden that has sprouted from my seedlings, and the multitude of trips I have been on over the past several weeks (spanning Vegas, NYC, Iowa, and Florida).

For tonight, however, I'm heading to my porch with a yummy glass of wine and one of my five new books. Who could ask for a better evening?

Friday, May 7, 2010

oh my...

It's only a matter of hours until I head to the start line for the 60-mile bike ride, and I'm gathering a pile of winter gear. Yes, winter gear. Because it's supposed to snow tonight, and I may be slogging through an inch of sloppy wet nonsense tomorrow. WTF, Minnesota... WTF?

p.s. the knowledge that all of you wonderful people helped me to earn more than $700 for the MS Society will help keep me warm and fuzzy. Maybe not so much physically, but still--I'm in awe of all of the generous donations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

a moment

If there is any likeness between my life and a run through a washing machine, I am currently fully immersed in the Agitator cycle.

The events of the past few weeks have upended my comfortable life and catapulted me into new, exciting, and uncharted territories.
  • I am leaving a job I have been with for more than five years and moving into an amazing new role within the same company--all the while attempting to document and transition responsibilities as best I can to make life easier for the team I'm leaving. I'll be moving away from my full-time home office status to a split between corporate offices and my home office.

  • I started reffing soccer games for the co-ed recreational league in which I play (and while that may not sound like a big deal, you should try running around a field for an hour having 15 people question, challenge, and refute every word that comes out of your mouth--quick way to realize the ol' skin needs some toughening up--and FAST).

  • My parents sold their place in Florida and are slowly transitioning to full-time Iowa residency--a move that has resulted in a handful of wonderful heirloom furnishings for my home (some cleaning, re-arranging, and donating of old pieces is definitely in order).

  • The unseasonably warm temps of spring in the midwest appear to be sticking around, and I have a window full of rapidly growing plants--with little more than an idea of where to put a garden and a list of physical "to do's" to get them moved outside.

  • My inability to say "no" to any of the fun soccer teams I play with has me gearing up to be on the field 5 fun-filled days per week.

  • My dogs constantly remind me that just because my routines are changing doesn't mean I can neglect them in the process.

These events--large and small, exciting and at times a little scary--have me traversing chaos, hurtling fast-forward through time, squeezing every last minute out of each day to stay on top of things without letting anything fall. In the end, the changes are all positive, but the undercurrent of change is shifting me from one who was knowledgeable and confident in what I was doing to one who has much to learn.

Tonight was the first night in weeks that I have had time to sit back, wash a few dishes, dust the growing mounds of dirt off a few surfaces, and try to restore some sense of order in my home. In the process, I sorted through a stack of mail on my counter from a few days ago. In the middle of the stack I found an issue of the publication my local MS Society chapter puts out. I flipped through the first pages of the magazine, and skimmed summaries of local events and support groups for people living with MS. And suddenly, with no warning... the floodgates opened, my throat tightened, and tears streamed down my face.

I'm pretty sure the outburst can be written off as a not-so-gentle reminder that I could use to catch up on some sleep and let go of some of the thoughts and worries I'm allowing to stress me out. But a tiny little rumbling of ice-cold fear in my belly thinks the tears were a result of a jarring realization. This crazy, mysterious phenomenon that is happening in my body has not hindered my ability to navigate the changes I'm working through today. But it could. It so easily could. All it would take is a tiny little strategically placed lesion--very much within the realm of possibility--to crumble my delicate reality into a pile of scraps and dust, vulnerable to the slightest breeze. A time bomb in my system ticking quietly, waiting for the right moment to explode. A reality I understand much more clearly after my relapse a few months ago.

I guess occasional collisions with these types of fear are expected when you live with MS. These fears are eloquently described in an amazing post on Wheelchair Kamakaze's blog, and tonight's temporary shift in perspective seemed like the perfect opportunity to share it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

happy tattaversary to me! (a very long and tangential post)

I can hardly believe it as I'm writing this, but my introduction into the club of the inked was one year ago today. A year! 12 months. 365 days.

So much has happened in the last year, and yet it seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in a room absorbing my first neurologist's words: lesions, myelin, optic neuritis, oligoclonal bands, relapsing and remitting, multiple sclerosis. Wow. It has been a whirlwind, and many things have happened over the course of the year to shift my perspective, only to turn around and shift it again. And I'm definitely in a better place because of it.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that I am not invincible. For several months after my diagnosis, I held on to that sense of invincibility. I honestly believed that I would be among the few lucky patients who would have a "dormant" version of the disease that would rest quietly in my body until I was getting on in my years, when the symptoms would be little more than the other aches and pains I would experience with age. Reality bitch-slapped that notion right out of me when I had my first relapse, just 8 months after my diagnosis. Too soon.

So now I know it can happen, and the odds are that it will happen again. Sometimes when I think about that, I can see down a path to a very dark place, where I feel like I am competing against time. When is my next relapse coming? And what if it does more damage than the first two, and impedes my ability to walk, or to see, or something else I have taken for granted thus far in my life? And for a moment I can't catch my breath, because there is no way of knowing the answer to these questions, and the unknown can be scary as hell.

And then I stop myself from moving toward that darkness, and I re-frame. If, in fact, the worst-case scenario does happen someday--if I lose my vision, lose my ability to walk, or worse, then what will I regret about today? Was there something I missed out on? Something I took for granted? What can I do to make sure the answers to these questions is "no?" So I will myself to experience--to do, to learn, to hope, and to enjoy.

I push myself to be very physically active, and to enjoy my activities and improve my skills. I play soccer, I run races, and this year my goal is to incorporate more cycling into that equation. As part of that initiative, I signed up for the MS 60 mile bike ride in Minnesota. (Click here if you're interested in making a donation, or finding out more about why I decided to participate in the ride.) My BFF Cindy signed up to ride with me, and she said she'd ride right alongside me, even though I'm guessing I'm going to be pretty slow (relatively speaking--she's a tough cookie when it comes to endurance competition, and she knocked out a very impressive time in a duathlon last year).

This brings me to another point I have been meaning to bring up in this blog for a very long time now, and it seems only appropriate to mention on the Tattaversary. I am not sure I would or could be in such a good place right now if it weren't or the amazing support system I have in place--my family (including my immediate family, my extended family of aunts and cousins who I keep up with now more than I ever have before, and my bonus family of my brother's in-laws in Utah who I know keep up with this blog from time to time), my friends (both local and long-distance), my co-workers, and my community. I am constantly surprised by the wonderful ways they support me, through the simplest and grandest of gestures.

So to those of you who read this blog (and to those of you who don't, although you will likely not see this shout out), thank you. You are all amazing people, and I am damn lucky for that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

checking in on the seeds

A few weeks back I posted some pictures of my window of seedlings for the garden. I'm pleased to report that every single species I planted has been accounted for with rapidly growing green sprouts.

With the amazing weather we had today, I was able to get outside to do some of the preliminary prep for the garden--transplanting a lilac tree, moving a few plants around, and mentally planning some of the garden spaces. I'm hoping these fun projects will yield a bumper crop of delicious veggies... fingers crossed :)

Here are some snapshots of the seedlings' progress thus far... (LLB, sorry for the delay--but this is in response to your request :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

new travel experiences

Last week I traveled to D.C. for a work conference. Having already made my inaugural trip with my medication in November, I figure it would be smooth sailing. And while I didn't encounter any significant problems, I did gain a few new insights through a couple of "hiccups" in my journey.

1. When navigating through security at MSP, I learned that in order to clear the security checkpoint, the ice pack in my medicine travel case must be frozen. Certainly not an issue on the outbound flight, but how's a girl to keep an ice pack frozen in a hotel room without a freezer?

2. Hotels do not simply make freezers available to guests with liquid temperature regulatory requirements (at least not the one I stayed at). In fact, it was somewhat difficult finding a solution. It was only after several repetitions of the story to the front desk staff, along with a copy of my Doctor's note, that they were able to put my ice pack in the restaurant freezer to get it frozen in time for the security pass on the way home. I recognize that this is a good thing--the hotel has health code requirements and guest safety at top of mind (they did not know what the ice pack contained). I would be unsettled if it were any other way. However, it is a good lesson in how to handle the issue in the future.

3. The security line at Reagan National Airport in D.C. has a separate line for "families and travelers with liquid medications." I consider myself a relatively savvy traveler, generally flying several times per year. Between my travel experiences and the fact that I work in the field of travel, I consider myself to be well-versed in how to navigate through a security line pretty efficiently. However, my designated line easily doubled the time I would have spent in the other, more fast-moving line.

None of these new findings are anything more than minor pains in the butt, but good information to keep in my pocket for future travels. And in the event that someone reading this is planning for their inaugural travel with injectables--hopefully something here will be helpful.

In the meantime, some pictures from my my travels...

Above the doorway at the Old Ebbitt Grill

Street scene at dusk

And finally,Delicious treats for weary travelers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

old hat, new look

It has been nearly a year since my initial diagnosis, and to mark the milestone I thought I'd update the blog with a new look. I figured some sort of update would be appropriate, since I'm slipping to about one post per month these days...

I do promise to post a few new items in the next week or to, leading up to my anniversary on April 14. Until then...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Veggie Tales

With temps hovering in the mid- to upper-40s and mounds of dirty snow quickly pooling into sloppy puddles, it's hard to believe we're in the midst of what is commonly referred to as the snowiest month in Minnesota. In the midst of this too-good-to-be-true warm-up, it seems everyone has been struck with a touch of spring fever. It would appear that my entire neighborhood spent the majority of this weekend's daylight hours outside. This afternoon, some guy was playing Ultimate Frisbee in the slushy field across from my house in SHORTS and a T-SHIRT (a little nutso, in my opinion).

Not surprisingly, I have also jumped on the spring fever bandwagon. This weekend I anxiously began the first steps in the long process of building a better vegetable garden.

First, I hung a homemade shelf in the bay window on the south side of my house. This window gets fantastic sunlight for much of the day, and I'm hoping it will be a good springboard for my veggie collection. Here's a summary of the veggies I have started:

  • Bell Peppers

  • Poblano Peppers

  • Jalapeno Peppers

  • Beaver Dam Peppers

  • Italian Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Brandywine Tomatoes

  • Grape Tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Cucumbers

  • Brussels Sprouts

Now all I do is become a Landscape Architect (or, ahem... tap the brain of my BFF who happens to be one) and devise a plan for incorporating all of these plants into the tiny strip of yard that lines the south side of my house.

I also have plans to rummage through the family farm in Iowa to find some wood to build a raised area for some of the veggies, bringing a little bit of my family's history right here to Minneapolis.

For now, I will leave you with a snap shot of my big dreams, preliminarily set in motion. Enjoy!

p.s. March 5 marked a full year from when I began the rather intense series of medical tests--which means the 1-year anniversary of DxDay is rapidly approaching (HOW is that possible???). I have a few commemorative posts in the works, so check back soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Right Back to Boring

Once again, I am operating under the "no news is good news" theory. As such, my blog is pretty lame.

Don't get me wrong--I am in NO way hoping for any blog-fodder-worthy excitement (exception: a cure for MS, breakthrough treatments--good stuff like that). I'm just apologizing for my lack of posting. I do have a few posts (not requiring new symptoms, knock wood) in mind, and I promise to post them as time allows.

In the meantime, hopefully you're as happy as I am for the fact that I'm not taking my symptom-free days for granted (which means less time sitting in front of my computer).

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm back, bitches*

I just played my first symptom-free soccer game since early December. And it felt fan-freakin' tastic. So good, in fact, that I didn't even realize how good I felt until my pal K asked me how I was feeling after the game. I had forgotten that I was supposed to feel dizzy (which surprises the crap out of me--I thought I would hear voices singing down from the sky on the day that I could honestly say "normal" had returned).

So yeah--I'm back, bitches.

*Sorry about the language, but there's really no better way to articulate my return to normalcy.*

p.s. F.L., I hope "normal" is finally returning for you, too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Week and Two Days Later...

It has been more than a week since my steroid regimen ended, and the improvement I have seen is phenomenal! I feel like I have finally climbed out of a giant, slippery hole, and I have Steroids to thank for helping me.

A few details (both for the benefit of anyone following the progress, and for my own reference in the event that I find myself in a similar situation down the road) about my experience follow.

Monday, the first day of the "crash," was not too bad. I think I did feel a little bit of the jittery, anxious side effect by the time I went to bed the night before, which made for a rather poor night of sleep. So a bit of tiredness, coupled with the drug's hasty withdrawal from my system, made me feel a bit "hung over" on Monday. I had a headache, I was achy and relatively uncomfortable, but all in all not too bad.

I woke up Tuesday morning weighing 7 pounds more than I had only a few days before. And I could feel it. My face was puffy, my eyes felt swollen, and my belly and rib cage almost felt bruised. It also felt like there were sandbags on my eyelids, and like I was walking around in a fog. This was perfect, since my boss had flown in from out of state, and we were meeting to plan for 2010 that day.

Through these two days, I began to get nervous that the steroids weren't working. My expectation was that the high dose of the drug would knock the symptoms out before the drugs left my system. In hindsight, it was not quite as fast as I expected.

Wednesday morning I still felt foggy, but was a few pounds lighter, and by mid-day the fog was lifting.

By Thursday the remaining five pounds were gone, and I was feeling better than I had in a very long time.

Since finishing the dose of steroids, my symptoms have progressively subsided. In my day-to-day activities, the dizziness is now virtually gone (aside from an occasional moment here and there).

One thing I am discovering (or I suppose "remembering," since it was a notable part of my initial Optic Neuritis prior to my initial diagnosis back in April) is that heat exacerbates my symptoms (Uhthoff's Symptom). Because of this, the symptoms are lingering a bit more when I play soccer. I will say, however, that the symptoms have improved with each and every game that I have played in the last week or so. That's saying something, since I have played quite a few games.

Tonight was no exception. I hope this improvement continues until I'm back to where I was a month or two ago.

But either way, this has been a valuable experience, to say the least. I feel a little more knowledgeable about what I can expect in the future, and I know how my body reacts to the steroids (at least how it reacted this time). I am also coming to realize that this situation is a potential part of my reality going forward. I think that knowledge will help me identify techniques to cope with relapses, and how to integrate them into my life.

It has actually made me think a lot about my tattoo. The meaning of the Dwennimmen is not only strength, but also humility (the ram--although strong--submits humbly to slaughter). I think the best thing I can take from this experience is that it is okay to stop trying to be "normal" when things clearly are not. That it is okay to accept my situation with a little grace and vulnerability, and take the time I need to work through it.

And that's about all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moving in the Right Direction

It has been a few days, but I wanted to keep this up to date with details about the steroids, side-effects, and symptoms.

The last couple of days were a little rougher than I expected, but the good news is that today I'm starting to remember what that elusive "normal" state feels like. In fact, this evening I leashed up the dogs and went out for my favorite wintertime activity--a lovely walk along the frozen creek across from my house. I still felt a little "off" on my walk, but leaps and bounds better than I have been feeling for weeks.

There are a lot of new insights, perspectives, and questions I have taken from this experience--and I hope to organize my thoughts into a few posts in the coming days. But for today, I'm happy to say that I'm doing okay.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Daily Specials, Part 3 of 3 (a.k.a. "Late" breakfast)

Greetings dear readers! This posting comes many hours after breakfast (and the assortment of supplements and pharmaceuticals that accompanied it), but I did not want to neglect the third in a three-part series.

Today's menu consisted of a pre-game ritual favorite of mine, toast with peanut butter and homemade raspberry/peach jelly (thanks Mom!). On the side was an assortment of vitamins, supplements, and the third and final 1,000MG dosage of steroids (no, I did not skip the injection--just disposed of the needle before getting the picture in, and wasn't about to dig in a Sharps bucket of exposed needles for the sake of the photograph).

As day three winds to a close, I have yet to experience any of the dreaded side effects (with the exception of the icky--but certainly tolerable--taste in my mouth). I have been sleeping great at night, no weirdness during the day (other than the hunger thing, but that's not SO weird, right?), no euphoria/hyperactivity/and/or irritability.

On the flip side, I have also not seen a huge difference in my symptoms. I was feeling pretty good today for awhile, but upon getting back on the field for a soccer game (which quickly turned into two games--yes, I am doing my best to stay active and not look like a bumbling idiot while doing it), I was knocked right back to the world of dizzy. However, it does feel like I am making steps in the right direction. No motion sickness meds have been required for the past 3 days (not even for games--which is significant), and the dizziness is less constant. I have also been energized and invigorated for my routine outings and soccer games. These are welcome indicators that I am either on the mend, or at the very least finding better ways to manage my symptoms. Whatever the case, it has been wonderful taking baby steps back toward that elusive "normalcy" I keep referring to.


The next road bump in the journey is the much anticipated post-steroidal "crash." DSO informed me that as the high-dose regimen leaves my system, I'll have some "withdrawal" symptoms, which he described as similar to a hangover of sorts. Hopefully these symptoms are as mild as the side-effects, and are short lived. I have some relatively big meetings this week, and I'm hoping to be feeling fantastic for them. Or at least pretty darned good.

Note: Sending a great big congratulatory shout-out to j-dogg in Jersey. Sending giant hugs across the innerwebs. It was great catching up with you today :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And now for Today's Special...

Here we are, day 2 of the 3 dose steroid regimen. I was prepared to experience at least a few of the side effects (this site provides visual examples of some of the side effects). But my first day was pretty uneventful. I definitely had a strange and rather unpleasant taste in my mouth for much of the day, and a few hours after I took the steroid, I think I could have given Old Country Buffet a run for its money (crap, I was hungry), but I was not jittery, nervous, euphoric, or anything like that. In fact,I hit a wall of exhaustion after work yesterday afternoon, and took a long and refreshing nap. The dizziness is still hanging around, although perhaps to a lesser extent. I did not feal any nausea yesterday, and did not take any motion sickness meds.

Last night I made a field trip to Home Depot to pick up some goodies for a home project I'm working on this weekend, and I will say it was the first time in weeks I actually felt good about getting into my car and leaving the house. Yes, I was still dizzy, but I think the nap (and possibly the 'roids) gave me a little burst of energy. The lack of nausea didn't hurt any, either.

And now here's a look at this morning's menu:

A delightful spread of scrambled eggs with fresh veggies, toast, fresh squeezed OJ,with a side of steroids, supplements, and injections. Here's hoping for more steps toward normalcy, and a productive day of home projects.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Today's special includes (clockwise from the bottom) a delicious toasted sandwich roll with Laughing Cow light swiss spread, a delicious ripe Clementine, 1,000MG of Methylprednisolone (spread between four 250MG capsules), calcium chew with vitamin D, a multi-vitamin, 400MG of vitamin D, and my daily Copaxone injection. And to wash it all down, a sparkling bottle of pomegranite cherry flavored water (I have been warned that the Methylprednisolone has a rather unpleasant flavor, which may coat the capsules).

Here goes nothin'...


Thursday, January 7, 2010

More News, a.k.a. Pre-Euphoric Posting

I had my appointment with DSO on Monday, and he confirmed my suspicions--MS is behind my new and inconvenient symptom. I guess that makes my diagnosis "official." At least that's how it feels. I think I was living in an optimistic world, bordering on denial, where I truly believed I would be the power-patient who never experienced another symptom after my diagnosis, but sucked all of the lessons out of the diagnosis to enrich and enhance my life. Carpe diem and all that. Ah, what a story that would have been. But alas, this "Choose Your Own Adventure" story has gone into auto-pilot--at least for a short while--and I am no longer at the helm.

Let me backtrack a bit to shed some light on what exactly what this new symptom is, and what it means for me. Based on DSO's clinical examination, the apparent cause of the dizziness and accompanying motion sickness is nystagmus. DSO believes there is a small lesion in the vicinity of my brain stem that--if I understand correctly--is interrupting communications between my eyes, wreaking havoc with my visual stability. The result is near constant dizziness, accompanied by occasional motion sickness (mitigated by periodic doses of OTC Meclazine), and difficulty focusing on people and objects.

Monday's clinical exam was followed by an MRI earlier today, which unearthed a new lesion (in an area of the brain completely unrelated to my current symptom--go figure), and confirmation that the lesion causing my symptom is visually undetectable in my MRI results, but in an area so sensitive that the symptom is clinically identifiable without supporting MRI images. In short, my MS is progressing, but not at an alarming rate. This progression is evidenced by the new lesion, as well as the new (unrelated) clinical symptom caused by a second--and apparently undetectable--lesion.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I (like most newly diagnosed patients) was diagnosed with relapsing and remitting MS. In short, this means that symptoms come and go over time as myelin is damaged in my central nervous system. By definition, my nystagmus is a result of a relapse, and it should only be a matter of time before I go into remission. However, that timeframe can vary pretty significantly from one person to the next, so I could be looking at days, weeks, or even months before returning to "normal," whatever that means for me. DSO informed me that I can expedite the return to remission by taking a very high dose of steroids, explained to me as the equivalent of 250 standard steroid pills per day--for three days. The benefit of such a high dose of steroids is a catapult back into remission. The downside to this high dosage is the laundry list of side effects that can be associated with it.

After several conversations with DSO, my dad (also an MD), and a few friends, I have thoroughly weighed my current discomfort with the possible side effects of the steroidal treatment. It is clear that the nystagmus is having a pretty significant effect on my quality of life, and as such I have elected to begin a three-day course of steroids tomorrow morning. I'm not sure if I'll ever be sure that this was exactly the right decision, or if I'm jumping the gun and using the steroid regimen to treat something that one day will seem like a cakewalk compared to other symptoms the future holds. But I don't think I care.

I just want to feel "normal" again.

**Check back soon for possible steroid-induced postings in what could well be 3 sleepless days of euphoria, irritation, sleeplessness, and increased blood pressure. Methinks this could get interesting...