My latest blog post:
I had a fascinating appointment today with my neurologist, Dr. Tornatore. He has been one of the rare neuros who has been excited about CCSVI since the beginning. Today was no exception.
He came to get my husband and me from the waiting room. Hugs for me and a handshake for my husband. Then he motioned for me to walk with him to the exam room. I handed him my cane and walked next to him all by myself! I do have a flair for the dramatic! He was impressed.
He wanted to hear all about my latest treatment. I pulled out my disc full of images, as well as the written report. I told him all about the amazing improvements that I have had experienced over the past two and a half weeks. We talked about the differences in my experience after each of my procedures. He was listening so attentively, and taking lots of notes.
Then we moved on to the physical exam. I was ready to really wow him! He tested my reflexes and muscle strength. What really struck him was the dramatic improvement in my ability to lift my feet at the ankle. I have had foot drop on my right side for years. I finally got an AFO with dorsiflexion assist in December. I don't need it anymore! Well, for as long as this treatment lasts, anyway.
Then he had me walk. I'm still too weak to walk on my toes or heels for more than a few steps. I am also not going to pass a field sobriety test walking heel-toe any time soon. But you should see me walk his hallway without a cane or a wall for assistance!
He told me that he had me measured as a 6.0 on the Kurtzke EDSS scale before my CCSVI procedures. This level says, "Intermittent or unilateral constant assistance (cane, crutch, brace) required to walk about 100 meters with or without resting" I concurred. This scale is used by neurologists to quantify disability in eight functional systems. It is often criticized for primarily focusing on the legs, to the exclusion of other clinical changes. But it is a simple way to evaluate walking.
Well today he assessed me at an EDSS of 3.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This level says, "Fully ambulatory but with moderate disability in one FS and more than minimal disability in several others." To earn that number I walked 500 feet up and down his hallway without a cane or touching a wall. I did it with ease! Well, at least until the last 20 feet or so, then it got a little tough, but I made it. I was amazed. I had never tested myself like that.
I can't wait to tell my PT all about it when I start rehab with her tomorrow! If she was impressed with me during my evaluation yesterday, this is really going to blow her away.
I wish there was some data on the results of a second venoplasty. It would be so comforting to read that the second time around lasts much longer than the first. Ha! Wishful thinking, I know. I guess that I am one of the guinea pigs who will provide that unofficial data for myself and others.
I realize how lucky I am to be in this position. I will make the most of it by documenting my progress, both forward and backward. Although, let it be said that it is WAY more fun and easy to report the forward progress!
Last edited by lucky125
on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.