Taking my “L”

In my house, you say you’re taking your L (for loser) when you screw up on something or when you were wrong. It’s time for me to tentatively take my L regarding medicine.

Of course, we’ll see if I get more side effects, if my white blood cell count or liver enzymes go bad, or if my high-positive JC virus leads me to develop the deadly brain infection PML. But so far, so good.

Interestingly, the way the medication I’m on works is by reducing inflammation in my brain. And even though meds aren’t supposed to be a cure or relieve MS symptoms, so far I can tell a positive difference as a result of reduced inflammation. It’s unlikely to be a placebo effect since I honestly didn’t think it would work at all. But it is.

The combo of meds I’m on for depression is finally working, too. Having had so many bad experiences with depression meds in particular, it’s very surprising that these are working for me.

As a result of the depression meds and my disease-modifying medicine, I have experienced the following:

  • Less need for sleep. I used to need 10 hours a day and still sometimes needed additional naps. Now I often wake up after 6 hours and can’t get back to sleep, and I’m functional.
  • I have the motivation to exercise. I logged over 38,000 steps in five days, which is phenomenal for me.
  • I also have less desire to eat as much and more willpower. So far it’s not resulting in any change in weight, but I’m finding it easier to make good choices.
  • Motivation and desire to work on a new direction for my career, starting with the plan to go back to grad school.

It’s kinda funny. When I met with my lawyer, he said I had to be strategic and realize that the outcome was up to me. He compared it to being Neo in the movie “The Matrix.” I thought that was actually pretty cheesy. But I took the message of self-determination to heart.

The problem is that I did it differently than he thought I would. He wanted me to realize I had control over winning my disability case by doing the right things to have the right documentation in my file. Instead, I took the self-determination to mean maybe I didn’t have to be disabled.

I’m doing better than I have in a long time. I’m finally motivated and energized to fight for myself. I’m asking myself how I would try to fight for my life and health and am finally doing those things. Funny, it’s not as hard as it used to seem. I guess I wasn’t ready, or maybe I just needed the right meds. I finally feel like I have a lot of potential left and am not feeling sorry for myself anymore. If anything, I’m a little mad that so many people encouraged the negative thinking and counted me out.

Which brings me back to taking my L. I can admit that I was wrong. Ironically, now that I am taking the meds for both MS and depression, it’s easier to do the other things (like regular exercise and healthier eating) which also improve my symptoms. I still believe in a lot of the natural approaches but not exclusively. Using them plus meds though? For me personally, that seems to be the best of both worlds so far. I’m actually feeling better. And that gives me a lot of hope.

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