Its nice to meet you Sarah, I think I first read your story almost a year ago.
Hi Jaded, I dont have MS, but slowly developed CFS in 2003-4. CFS has some common symptoms with MS (tho the mechanisms may not necessarily be the same) - fatigue, cognitive problems, allergies/sensitivities like Sarahs... alot more. But not motor problems.
One year of heavy abx down, and I am 95% improved (and still treating). And hoping to become a bacteriologist/pathologist someday... but theres alot of competition for resources in the biomedical field. Im interested in all infectious diseases, and all the idiopathic immune-activation-involving diseases like CFS, the arthritides, MS, Alzheimers, the oculitides, lupus, and others. Im most focused on why abx-based recoveries from the idiopathic diseases (and from a few accepted infectious diseases such as Whipples) are very lengthy and often incomplete, compared to eg treatment of a bladder infection - where the bacteria are certainly different, but the molecular targets are the same.
Damage and autoreactivity certainly might explain some residual symptoms in the idiopathic immune diseases. Yet the slowness of therapeutic response, and the fact that no few patients continue to improve on further abx after years of abx treatment, both support a model in which current treatments often fail to eradicate symptom-causing infections. One day, knowledge of why this (apparantly) occurs might help advance the speed and completeness of therapy. For now, we do the best we can with what we have, which turns out to be pretty sweet indeed for many idiopathic immune disease patients. Abx treatment requires alot of patience tho. It took me 11 months or treatment for me to resume any enjoyment of life at all, and it often didnt seem to be going as well as I now see it was.