Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Current Meds:
1. Prednisone (12 tablets {60mg} in morning for 2 weeks then 4 tablets {20mg})
2. Citalopram 10mg once daily
3. Lorazepam 1mg at bedtime
4. Tylonol 500mg

Current Symptoms
Physical: fatigue
Sensory: Optic neuritis in left eye
Psychological (memory/mood): none
Medication side effect?: rapid/pounding pulse, palpatations, headache

Before I get into my topic today I want to say that after judo yesterday I was feeling a bit up. I came home and couldn't seem to quite myself down at all. I began having heart palpatations around 11:00, which became rather annoying. But I stayed calm mentally and began some muscle relaxation exercises that my therapist taught me. And in about 25 min I was fine and sleeping soundly. Amazing technique, I do it twice a day now. Once in the morning after I water my garden and once just before bed. Really helps you control your mind and body. Waiting for the generalization effect to take hold and prevent more episodes like that.

So, here's my dilemma: I love to sweat; allow me to emphasise--I LOVE TO SWEAT. I love working out. I love lifting a little too much weight, pushing a little too hard. I love the burn. I love running until exhaustion and collapsing on the ground in agony. I love to be a workhorse. Problem: MS... overheating is a bad thing. Can cause lots of suffering that is completely unnesessary. Solution? I have no idea. I have 100 questions written down that I intend to get answers for from Dr. Leckey. I need to work out. It's a mental thing. I havn't been able to do anything workout worthy for me in a long time and its starting to grow on my mind, "will I ever get back my 'normal?'"

That being said, not knowing if I can work out like I used to yet there are some things that I do that won't change and may actually improve my MS situation. For example: TaiChi.

Here's some research a friend sent me on TaiChi and MS:

An 8-week Tai Chi program was conducted to explore the benefits for those with multiple sclerosis. 19 patients with multiple sclerosis took part in this experiment.The results showed that walking speed increased by 21%. Tai Chi also increased the flexibility of the hamstring muscle by 28%. The MS patients also had improvements in energy, social interaction, mental health, and ability to carry their daily duties.----------
Most notably, t'ai chi has been found to be beneficial for improving walking steadiness in several studies in the elderly. In one study of 200 people, the risk of falls decreased by nearly 50 percent. Some of the effects of t'ai chi on walking may be due to increased confidence and decreased fear of falling. Research studies have found that t'ai chi also increases strength and flexibility. It may improve heart and lung function and decrease heart rate and blood pressure; it also may have a positive effect on mental function. There is limited evidence that t'ai chi improves depression, anxiety, fatigue, and confusion.
T'ai chi does not generally pose any known significant health risk. It could potentially worsen fatigue in people with MS. Also, walking unsteadiness and sensitivity to overheating may require modifications in technique. There is one report of a person with MS in whom t'ai chi provoked electrical sensations in the arms and back (known as Lhermitte's sign).

T'ai chi is a low-risk, low-moderate cost therapy. It may increase walking ability, decrease stiffness, and improve social and emotional functioning. Studies on other conditions indicate that t'ai chi increases strength and may improve fatigue, depression, and anxiety. For people with MS who have disabilities that prevent using strenuous exercise programs, t'ai chi may be a gentle way to obtain some of the general health benefits of a vigorous workout.

Thanks Lonnie!

I've been doing TaiChi about 3 years now I guess. I had a brief lull in the middle but I am actively pursuing my reemergence into the exercises. The benefits have always been there and now I have an even greater excuse to continue my studies in this discipline. Not to mention the cross-training helps my Judo!!


At 9:01 AM, Blogger MOM said...

sounds like a great way to get somre of that energy out . Give mr a call I miss your jokes. Going to spend the day with Marg love you more Mom

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Claudette said...

Waiting to read more.

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Ankhanu said...

Wait wait wait... who offers Tai chi around here and how much is it?

That's a crappy situation. I've just started trying to be more active to get in better shape and I've been loving it. I hope you figure out some way to stay active and not make your situation worse.

At 5:08 AM, Blogger Iain Dughlais said...

The taichi school I'm a part of it called Eastern Dragon. We are shut down for the summer but we still practice in private. The school reopens in the fall. Cost, I'm not sure... I'm sort of an honorary student at this point and I don't pay anymore.


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