I just noticed that on my most recent physical therapy script from my pain neurologist, there's a note to my trainer: "MS in remission!" Yes, he used an exclamation point. It's been 10 months since my last MRIs and 10 months since my last dose of any MS meds. The MRI report came back, "no change."
I further challenged these new results; I went into a hot jacuzzi for 45 minutes, something I wouldn't dare try while in my previous throws of MS symptom hell. There was no effect other than the nice relaxation you'd expect from a comforting soak. This is double proof that my MS is gone!
I'm still left with the damage MS did to me while it was active. I'm working out regularly on my Total Gym and treadmill to reverse any deficiency I'm able. And there's still pain, albeit less since I've been increasing my "anticonvulsant" medication dosage.
I've been utilizing the holiday season downtime to focus on targeted exercise. Yesterday, I actually walked two miles, still a little sloppily. While my hip and knee are actually strengthing, and I'm recovering some coordination, my balance is still clearly deficient. According to Dr. Doidge, this, too, can be addressed through neuroplasticity (see previous post). I will likely have to wait for a promising new device, the PoNS from Helius Medical, to become FDA approved before I'm able to effect any significant improvements in that area (clinical trial info here).
I'm doing everything I can.
If my next big push on tegretol doesn't solve my pain issues more permanently, I will consider something called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Not to be confused with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the former has been shown to have a significant effect on permanently reducing CNS neuropathic pain (NP). There was even a study using tDCS for NP, specifically in MS patients. While the process is clearly safe, and home-use units not terribly expensive to purchase, a single course of professional treatment is expensive (five digits!).
"Results: Compared to sham, active tDCS yielded significant analgesic effects according to VAS and BPI global scales.There were no effects of any block on mood, fatigue, or attention."