I'm sorry I haven't updated this. I had some wonderful improvements:
- Fatigue cut in half
- Balance greatly improved
- Able to walk slowly unassisted (but probably would at least need a cane as foot drop still there)
- Faster movements, e.g., getting in and out of the car no longer a prolonged, slow ordeal requiring assistance - I could do it myself
- Insomnia completely resolved - this is huge
Today I am sad to report that I am back to being a slow-moving sloth. None of the improvements lasted. I wish so much that I had recorded an "after" video while the going was good, but the improvements got better every day and I was waiting a bit. Unfortunately when I awoke the other day, it became increasingly clear that I was back to square one.
The only improvement that stayed, to my surprise and delight, is the resolved insomnia. For the first time in my life I can sleep, when I'm tired, without fighting wakefulness for hours on end before drifting off. That's a wonderful thing and I'm grateful for it.
I assume I have restenosed. I'm hoping someone will tell me that the improvements could come back over time. We had hoped for stents to help ensure that restenosis would not occur, and we told the doctor we were ok with stents, but I guess it's a judgment call for them so that's that.
Right now my left foot is so purple the toes look almost black but this is not continuous -- the discoloration comes and goes in varying degrees of red, purple, and near-normal. There is pitting edema in both feet. My left leg aches off and on during the day. I know this subject has been beaten to death but could that earn me a venogram state-side to test for May-Thurner? I don't know how to approach it.
I feel a bit beaten up after all of this. My Poland adventure didn't match the fairy tale in my head. I was already quietly working on going local and had an MRV done before I left, but when the opportunity to get this done sooner than the estimated "hopefully sometime next year" came along, my weary body said "yes" and my weary, longsuffering, patient husband said "yes." We took the lifeline. We did what we felt was right for us before I wound up bedridden. The positive thing that came out of this is: We know treatment for CCSVI works. We know that opening up my jugular veins caused remarkable improvements. We know this is the right course.
Anyway I will be posting more about the reality of treatment in Poland in a separate thread.
Thanks to everyone for all the support. I enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people in Poland... I missed a lot of the folks who wanted to meet up and I'm not sure what happened to them... but I hope and pray that they were helped and that their improvements have continued.
Joy is STILL my strength! There is disappointment, sure, but I'll get over it. Joy isn't dependent on circumstances and it bubbles up inside me and fights against the gloom. My outlook is sunny. I will not give up and I will not give in.