Week +16, Day +112. I'm almost a third the way through the approximate 1-year procedure recovery. Here's an assessment of my progress so far:
First off, it's absolutely fabulous to be able to eat fresh foods again (i.e. fruit and salad) and to be able to eat out in restaurants. That has made me feel better mentally. I've also started consuming lots of different types of probiotics.
I've gained about fifteen pounds since my procedure. I just broke 150 lbs, which was my minimum target (I weighed 165 when I graduated from High School). This is a big score. Beforehand, I was in a downward spiral; no matter how much I ate, the weight kept coming off. (I did limit myself to a strict paleo diet.) I blame my damaged gut for being unable to absorb nutrients from the food. That problem has apparently begun to reverse itself, and I do feel a bit better, physically, when I'm not in pain.
I do actually now feel that the MS is "gone" from my body. It's been well over six months now since I've taken any type of disease modifying drugs. I am no longer immuno-compromised, and that feels. nice.
While I did exhibit a minor improvement in walking ability at around Month +2, my walking has returned to pre-HSCT levels. (I suspect it will start to improve again, eventually.)
My pain levels are significantly better, but they still prevent me from socializing for anything but short periods of time. I get about 5-10 minutes before the pain really flares up. Two days ago, I went to see a show where I was seated for a two-hour performance. That was difficult. Because of my career, I see lots of shows, but I'm normally standing and leaning, which is often better than sitting in a seat I don't like.
I'm still taking lots of gabapentin and Tegretol. I think it will be a while before I try to ramp down the dosage of either.
Fatigue is different than pre-HSCT. I don't get stuck on the couch all day without energy to get up. Now it's more like a careful need to manage the small amount of energy I'm allotted, then I need to take it easy.
Depression is very rare now as there's a strong light at the end of the tunnel, and I can see it clearly. I'm very hopeful for what the future brings. Apparently, +1 Year is when an abundance of healing typically begins with +2 Years with the majority of cumulative benefits.
Month +4 will be coming up soon on October 5th, 2016.