The MonSter was first detected as early as 1300, but not assigned a label until the 1800s when the medical field recognized the mysterious symptoms of MS a nervous disorder (paraplegias). One doctor in London noted in a lecture that the disorder was not sufficiently interesting to discuss further. (Probably a world-class jerk.)(https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/history) I beg your pardon!
Do you have a love/hate relationship with your MS meds? In the early days of neurological experimentation, patients were subjected to some crazy remedies:
As science advanced, doctors studied cells and discovered the origin of myelin. When Dr. Thomas Rivers found MS was caused by changes in the nerve tissue rather than a virus, research took a more advanced turn. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society was founded in 1945, which led to the establishment of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (Prior to official diagnosis, I was treated as a stroke patient.)
CT scanning and MRI (magnetic resonance imagery) became a standard evaluation of the existence of the MonSter. The emergence of corticosteroid therapy (steroids) was and remains a common treatment for suspected multiple sclerosis.
If you’ve been diagnosed, it's no big mystery that you are your own best advocate. Doctors are wonderful resources, yes. We depend on the medical profession, as we should. Without the dedication to the practical knowledge of professionals, we might still receive electrical shock treatments or burned at the stake like a Salem witch. Although we still own a fear of the unknown, facts are easier to find out in the 21st century. (Fingers crossed.)
The more we know, the better armed we are for defense. There is always room to learn.
Recently, my neuro and I agreed that it’s time to change my DMT(disease-modifying treatment). Of course, this requires a fresh series of medical tests and prescription research. To this point, I have used Beta Seron, Tecfidera, Copaxone, and Gilenya to battle the MonSter. Kesimpta is my new drug of choice.
While reviewing recent test results, I found that I am positive for JCV. My heart stopped. A positive JC virus result means I am at a higher risk of developing PML. (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy).
Before crumbling into a ball of sodden tissues, I (FRANTICALLY) messaged a nurse (and MS Warrior) friend. Her words reassured me.
“Don’t freak out. Just about every person in the world has a positive JC virus. Mine is high as well, that just means certain MS medications are riskier. However, it is good to know where you are so you can make informed choices.”
Thank you, Jane! (Proof that human support is essential.)
This is YOUR disease. Read. Converse. Learn. No question is a stupid question.
JC virus and PMLThe JC virus is a common infection completely unrelated to MS. Between 40-90% of the general population have been…mstrust.org.uk
There are so many MS resources out there. Penelope Conway is one of my favorite MS bloggers.