Tuesday, 24 January 2023

an overdue update

First things first. Today, just over a week after I finished my course of Tamiflu, I actually walked upstairs for the first time since the last week of December.

Perhaps even more importantly, I also made it downstairs safely.

When I think about where I was a week ago, it's actually mind-blowing.

Tamiflu is an incredibly powerful drug. And the ten day course really knocked me about.

But the most upsetting side effect of the flu and Tamiflu  was the fact that I effectively lost control of my bladder.

Obviously I was keeping my fluids up and was self-catheterising as well as I could. But even with that I still had about a week where I was waking up two to three times a night having soakedthe bed. And this was even with the use of some pretty heavy-duty incontinence pants/pads - sometimes more than one item at the same time. 

A friend of the family - who is a community nurse - said that my body was solely focused on fighting the flu. So all of my usual MS symptoms were basically allowed to run unchecked, and in my case that included bladder weakness. 

Now I know that people with MS deal with this and more all the time. But as a person who has spent many years working to gain control over his bladder it was a real kick in the teeth. That old MS issue of your body letting you down again. 

For the last few nights, I've been able to get out of bed (by myself, using a rollator) to get to the toilet in time. And for a couple of nights, I've even slept through! Imagine.

What's the point of all this oversharing? 

When I spoke to the MS nurse she said that there are a lot of people with MS who are catching the flu. So if you are dealing with this and your body is concentrating on fighting the flu, you may - like me - go through a period when your MS symptoms start going crazy. As such, the chances are that these symptoms will start to calm down as soon as the flu - and Tamiflu - are out of your system.

I am by no means out of the woods. But I'm walking more, with the aid of a rollator, and I'm doing more for myself.

Having "conquered" the stairs (HA!), we're looking at things that will make it easier for me to move around our home. So like we did after my last relapse, we're getting an Occupational Therapist in to suggest adaptations to make things easier.

So things are going in the right direction.

But still. Baby steps.

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