So glad you enjoyed the biltong & 'wors - they are a staple here for Saturday afternoon Rugby or Cricket (depending on the season!). Mrs. Balls Chutney is great too - try it with a good curry, if you like spicy food - my husband will not eat a curry without it!
We don't really have honey-flavoured rooibos tea here - that is a novelty item, and maybe you should ask them to order some oof the plain stuff for you, or you could give me a PO box number and I will be happy to send you some (it is not at all expensive, and really worth trying - I drink it all day), if your customs allow that sort of thing.
All our wines come from the Western Cape - its main industry is wine, fruit growing and tourism, as it is very beautiful - google earth Cape Town sometime, or look at the tourism pages from google, and you will see what I mean. I live in Durban, on the east coast, right on the Indian Ocean, and it is also lovely.
Some other good wineries are Boschendal and Vergelegen (their wine cellers are in caves, deep in the mountains).
Monkey gland sauce does sound a bit odd, but it is basically just a sweet barbeque type sauce used mainly for steaks - you could have put it on your rib-eyes! 'Wors is more similar to German style sausage, I think,but is really unique as it evolved from the early Dutch, German, and French Hugenot settlers!
I am glad you are managing the Rebif ok - maybe a mild steroid ointment would help with the itch? I believe that it can get quite bad (I am on Avonex, so don't have that problem) so some form of relief may become necessary. We have Arnica ointment here, a natural remedy used for minor itches, bites, and bruises. But I am sure your neuro will know just what to do.
The anxiety could be from the Rebif, but just as easily from the ms itself - many of us had anxiety or even mild cardiac issues even prior to diagnosis, and this may have something to do with the way the immune system affects the brain and CNS - your emotions originate in the brain, and your brain is under attack, so it makes sense that there could be a link. I have the same issue, plus the interferons can cause depression, so my neuro put me on Cipralex which is a SSRI anti-depressant that combats anxiety too (he wanted to kill two birds with one stone, even though I insisted I was NOT depressed), and I feel much better.
Or you could either try a straight forward anxiolytic like a mild dose of Xanax or Lexotan (only when needed), homeopathic or herbal remedies, meditation etc. Anxiety is very unpleasant as it manifests with physical symptoms, and your quality of life will be better if you find a way to address it that suits you.
As for that ..."but you look sogood" crap - it winds me up no end. I used to (and still do) get it all the time. I was always so aware of my problems - I would arrive at work and I would get "oh, you look better", as if I was suddenly cured!
They can see that you are limping but we perpetuate this by acting as if it is no big deal, but they can't see the fatigue, or pain, or the fact that you have to type with one hand because the other one is numb or your arm is in spasm, or that you are having terrible stiffness and spasms in your leg...
I suppose it is not their fault - my HR Director had the audacity to give me a newspaper clipping about someone with ms who was supposedly cured from snake venom, and suggested that I try it so that I could get rid of the disease too! I know she was trying to help, but this is a highly educated woman with a masters degree in psychology...? One whacky article and suddenly she knows more than all the scientists! (I apologise to all those who swear by the snake venom treatment, but I am somewhat mainstream).
My right side is the one affected, and I have ended up on a cocktail of meds, plus a programme that helps me, but I had to keep going back again and again to the neuro before he got it right. Your stiffness could be caused by spasticity and spasms - talk to him about some baclophen, amitriptyline, and if you have pain, neurontin helps. Also, some physical therapy and stretching daily helps, and massage therapy too.
I struggled to give up work, but now it has been a while and I have realised that it was the best thing for my health. I don't have the stresses of a demanding job, the exposure to infections that could trigger relapses, that heavy weight on your shoulders knowing that you have to get up and perform at your peak, when you know that your peak isn't what it used to be! So for me, with hindsight, it was the right thing to do. I am still involved with work, but now it is on my terms, when I feel I can do it, and my income is not dependent on working 12 hour days and jumping through hoops all day!
Thanks for your concern, I really appreciate it.
I envy you your convertible, I drive a bright yellow (new) Beetle because it makes me smile every time I see it - it is such a silly car that it lifts my mood right up - even the car seems to smile, and the colour is outrageous!
Get help from your neuro now - he needs to know that you feel that your ms is a little worse or more noticable, and you will benefit from trying new medications or adaptations to help you live more comfortably. There is a lot that can be done to help with symptoms, while we all wait around for a cure - no point in suffering if you don't have to...
Take care, enjoy working (I did, for many, many years - I am 42 now) - I think the key is to get as much pleasure out of where you are right now, and you sound like the kind of guy who already knows how to do just that.
Let me know if you want some rooibos tea, and where to send it - I am happy to do it, and also how it goes with your neuro, and if you do any more culinary experimentation - you might go back for th emonkey gland sauce!
Talk to you soon.