Tag Archives: Flare Ups

MS-A Cold-Zinc-A Difficult Choice

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How do spiders do that? Those two trees are at least ten feet apart.

     Recently I woke up with all the tell tale signs of an emerging cold, you know, the scratchy throat, the slightly more then usual MS weakness and tightness in my muscles a little sniff here a little sniff their with a sneeze or two thrown in for good measure. And it’s in these very early moments of an oncoming cold virus where I have to make a very difficult health choice. If I hit a cold hard as soon as I notice it coming on with mega doses of zinc I can almost always knock down both the severity of the cold as well as the duration of having to put up with this pesky little health annoyance by about half as much. And it would seem that the answer would be simple enough to deduce, but it’s not.

     For all of the benefits that I get from using zinc to combat a cold I also have to accept a sudden flair in all of my MS symptoms after about the third day of using the zinc. And if I don’t stop completely after the fourth day I risk having a full blown MS attack that could last for days or even weeks. And this is knowledge that I have acquired over almost sixteen years of having both colds and Multiple Sclerosis so I know for a fact that this is how my body reacts to zinc.

     And in fact, while were on the subject, this is pretty much the same choice I have to make when deciding whether or not to get a flu shot or not each year. I really don’t know what they put in the flu vaccine, though I’ve heard they use mercury as a preservative, but whatever is in it I seem to always have a reaction that in many cases is even worse then having the flu itself.

     And when you consider that recent studies have shown high levels of iron deposits in MS patient’s brain lesions after they have passed away I just have to wonder if heavy metals are something that people who suffer from MS, or perhaps any autoimmune disorder, just can’t tolerate to much of in their systems.

     However, these are not the only triggers when it comes to me personally and many of these other vitamins have nothing to do with metal in any way, or at least as far as I know. I cannot tolerate vitamin B12, same thing as above my symptoms go nuts after just a few days of trying to take it, however what’s strange is that, no other B vitamin seems to affect me like this. Vitamin E also seems to adversely affect my MS along with Cod Liver Oil, though Omega 3 fish oils don’t bother me at all.

     And one final note here about iodine, I recently read that salt, or sodium, may play a part in triggering Multiple Sclerosis. And I can truly believe this as well, if the salt has iodine added to it which most of the time it does, as at some point years ago I tried taking iodine supplements, for some reason that I can’t remember anymore, and with in two days I stopped as my MS began to rebel violently to the addition of this nutrient in its more concentrated form.

     Well that’s some of the things that affect me. I would be very interested in knowing what triggers other people with MS, or any autoimmune disease, have noticed in their lives? Who knows, maybe we can figure this thing out on our own!

 

By Bill Walker

MS and Eye Flashing Shadow Snake

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Eye of the Shadow Snake!

     One morning about three weeks ago I wasn’t terribly surprised when I woke up to the flashing strobe light sensation that often accompanies one of my MS attacks when I first got out of bed. I had known for a couple of months that I was experiencing my somewhat annual flare up so it didn’t strike me as being any big deal as that is normal for me. The only thing that was different on this occasion was that the flashing seemed confined to just my right eye when usually it’s in both eyes. However, I have become used to the fact that my attacks are never exactly the same from year to year so I paid very little attention to that fact.

     It wasn’t until the next night when I was driving to a local baseball game that the real strangeness taking place in my right eye was to get my total undivided attention. As I was driving the flashing started to give way to this grid of dark spots that covered part of my vision which was bizarre, in that, I have never had that as one my symptoms during an MS episode before. I felt like if I had a pencil I could have easily played that kids game of connect the dots and that’s exactly what this grid looked like as I gazed threw it and onto the rest of the world which is also a bit distracting when your watching cars coming at you at fifty to sixty miles an hour. But the strangest and literally the scariest symptom was, as yet, to come.

     Upon reaching the game what I can only describe as a snake or worm like dark shadow began making figure eights throughout my line of vision, but again, just in my right eye, which at the time, I was thankful for because one of my biggest fears about MS is eventually going blind. The thought of losing my eyesight, to say the least, terrifies me when ever I have MS related eye problems. The worm continued its seemingly prearranged journey through most of the rest of the baseball game until about the eighth inning when it began to fade into the twilight of the oncoming darkness beyond the lights of the stadium. And thankfully it was completely gone by the time I started the long drive back home, but most certainly, not forgotten.

     It just so happened that I had a doctors appointment with my regular family doctor the next day and after describing my previous day’s experience my doctor scheduled an emergency appointment with my Optometrist the very next day after that. When I woke up that next morning, and as I prepared to leave for my appointment, I was greeted by what seemed like a hundred floaters moving around my field of vision in my right eye, which was kind of like watching a meteor shower in my head.

     Fortunately, it did not take long for my Optometrist to figure out what was happening, and what was happening had absolutely nothing to do with Multiple Sclerosis at all. He explained that as we get older there are tiny fibers in our eyes that attach the gel like substance inside of the eye to the Retina and sometimes these fibers break causing all of the symptoms that I had previously described. He referred to it as a Vitreous Detachment which I quite honestly had never heard of before. He went on to explain that this can only happen one time in each eye and that people who had this happen in one eye were far more susceptible to having this happen again in the other eye at some later date.

     As my fear of losing my sight began to abate he told me that it would probably be about thirty days for the floaters to finally disappear altogether, which seems to be just about right as it’s been about that long, and I’m not noticing to many of these any more. And let me add this, this was not a great experience to have, and I’m certainly not looking forward to going through this again if it does happen, but at least I’ll now what’s happening the next time, the terrifying shadow snake comes to call!

By: Bill Walker