Thursday, November 1, 2007

Football's First Forward Pass, aka I Can Move Forward Day November 1st

On November 1st in 1913 Notre Dame introduced the first forward pass in a game against Army at West Point. Notre Dame scored 35 points to Army's 13. In honor of this ground breaking game, I am naming November 1st I Can Move Forward Day.

The reasons for I Can Move Forward Day are personal. Basically, I have had a very emotionally difficult six weeks. Normally, my gut reaction to this type of personal stress is to want to crawl under the covers and hide until someone makes me come out. Fortunately, I seem to have grown up a bit because I can't do that this time, because hiding is isn't productive nor is it healthy.

I had spent the last three days writing out the details of what had happened over the last six weeks, but I have decided not to post what I wrote for a few reasons. First, it doesn't really fit the scope of my blog; second, it felt whiney, even though there were a few cleverly phrased parts; and third, I'm shy, and I don't feel like sharing all of it. But, I am going to share some of it, and hopefully it won't feel like the whiney parts.

Anyway, the core of my stress is that I found out that my Multiple Sclerosis has progressed. I have progressed from Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis to Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Because of this progression, I am going to have to increase the dosage of one of my medications, (Interferon Beta 1-A going from brand name Avonex 30 mcg once a week to Rebif 44 mcg three times a week). This increase could effect my ability to work full time, which would effect my insurance, which would effect my ability to get treatment... and so on, and so on.

I haven't really noticed an increase in my disability, but the MRI that I had in August showed that I have 26 lesions on my brain. Last year I had 12. The year before that I had 7, and the year before that I had 5. Basically, the lesions are places where the brain doesn't work any more because my immune system has attacked my nervous system and the cells that have been attacked form scar tissue through a process called demyelination.

So, my brain has so many holes it's like Swiss cheese. (Which means it's normal that I loose my keys every other day and lock myself out of my apartment at midnight on a Sunday night, and when people notice that I am being a bit of an airhead I can just say, "It's okay, I have 26 holes in my brain!") But, the way that my doctor gave me this information was not good. (Let's just say, doctors should read their patient files before they go into the exam room so they don't say things like, "Well, at least you've already have had your children, so you don't have to worry about pregnancy on these medications" and "Maybe we should save the rest of this conversation until your husband can be here.") Then, the same week that I got all this news, my brother was in a major car accident. So, that week wasn't a good week.

But that was in September, and I have had all of October to get used to the idea of new treatment, and today, the first day of November, is a good day for a fresh start. I had my follow-up appointment with my doctor. The doctor had me schedule a follow-up because the one in September was so emotional he wanted to give me time to come to terms with all the new information. Today's appointment was mostly setting up all the technical stuff for my new treatment. I have to have a home health nurse come in to show me how to do everything the right way. I had to get all the right insurance preauthorizations. I have to sign over the title of my car and my non-existent first-born for every monthly co-pay... but, I actually feel okay about this new first step. The positive thing is, even though my MRI looks really bad-- bad enough for the doctors to be really, really concerned, I am functioning fairly well, and I feel pretty good, most days. In fact, I think that most of my not feeling good is due to side effects of my medications that are supposed to be stopping the progression of the Multiple Sclerosis. Which is why I have had such a difficult time deciding to increase the dosage of those medications.

After today's appointment, I feel really positive about moving forward (and it doesn't hurt that the needle is significantly smaller for the Rebif) not dwelling on all of this negative stuff I have had in my head these last six weeks. I haven't ever seen a football game without at least one forward pass (at least I can't remember a significant one). Even with a strong running game, the best offense needs to mix things up with a few passes, and everyone loves to see a completed long-reach-for-it-and-run-for-the-end-zone pass. Perhaps, this new medication will be one of those passes where I can hear the footsteps of the defense right on me, and the end zone is just right there when the ball just comes over my shoulder into my hands... you know, just perfect.


FoxyJ said...

I hope your new medication is working out and that things are going well. *hug*

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Thanks for the hugs Foxy! I haven't quite started the new medication yet, I have to wait to be trained, but I am finally feeling good about it.