I went to see my MS nurse yesterday for my first check-up after treatment, and to kick off my monthly monitoring.
The plan is:
- Monthly bloods to test liver function, kidney stuff and to get a full blood count (which among other things will show how my lymphocytes are recovering).
- Once a quarter the bloods will also be used to check thyroid function.
- Additional quarterly urine sample (to check kidney stuff).
So I have enough blood & urine forms (not to mention sample bottles for the latter!) to keep me going for 3 months after which I will due my next face-to-face checkup with the MS team.
I couldn’t actually face getting my blood taken yesterday as I would have had to go the blood clinic and it wasn’t my usual hospital due to a cock-up with the appointment, and I was already super-stressed due to my van blowing up on the way to the hospital, and I just wanted to go home! I will go to my local hospital for that later today…
[The van breakdown was due to the radiator (I think, I’m no expert) springing a leak – I had been planning to drop it off at the garage on the way to the hospital, to have the pedals modified with a left-foot accelerator, but never made it that far! A million phone calls later, after establishing that my breakdown cover has lapsed (oops) and having to call round local breakdown chaps to rescue me (thank you Google!) and my local mechanic to book in for repairs… I managed to get Sylvia towed to the mechanic to have her radiator looked at (fingers crossed that’s all it is!) and the pedals are booked in to be done later this month instead. Eep.]
Meanwhile, I asked the MS nurse for advice about fungal infection. (Yummy. Who knew that ringworm was nothing to do with worms? There’s a funny story about ringworm and roundworm and cog fog, but I’m sure you can guess the punchline, right? )
He’d talked to me about viral and bacterial infections before treatment – and I did pick up a little cold last week that normally I could have ignored, but it knocked me about a bit! – but never fungal. It so happens I’ve developed a minor skin infection, which I’d been self-treating with Canesten (clotrimazole) already for a couple of days. He advised me to keep up with that for a week, but to either get back to the MS team or my GP for something stronger if it hasn’t cleared up in that time.
All in all we’re pretty pleased with initial recovery after treatment. I know some have a tougher time than I have had and feel lucky to have got off rather lightly so far.
I didn’t think to ask him about the flu vaccine. I wonder whether November, when I see him next, will be too late? Might give the MS helpline a call – at least the neurology secretary who womans the phone is back after a period of absence so the helpline is operational again. That at least is good news!