Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

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Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby KMB » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:47 am

hello everyone, I was recently diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS about 2 months ago...

I'm 26 years old... I have a brother who has primary progressive MS diagnosed when he was 20 and is currently almost fully wheelchair bound...
I'm an MD currently in my second year of surgical residency program. As I'm sure all of you went through this, I keep asking my self weather I should seek a new career path or at least a specialty. So far I have only had 2 attacks or relapses and they both have been almost completely sensory... . I was wondering if there are any other members with a similar set of circumstances that need to use delicate hand skills for their job.
And weather or not they had to do something else.
On one hand I recovered from my last relapse with pulse therapy and I'v started on a DMD so I can go back to the Operating room...On the other, If i get another or any progression I am not sure I can keep up.

any thoughts or personal experiences?

Oh, and if anyone has experience with family history, especially siblings? the literature out there seems equivocal about disability of siblings with MS.

Thank you,
KMB
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby Anonymoose » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:23 am

Hi KMB,
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I think you are wise to be considering alternatives to your current career path. None of us know what our abilities will be in the future or even from one day to the next. I think it would be really stressful (bad for ms) to always be worried about losing your hands and career...or to be worried about whether or not you will have an exacerbation affecting your hands which could force you to cancel surgeries without notice.

My ms is mostly sensory. My ability to do things like write cursive and sew has been greatly affected. We are all different though so you might not have the same issues.

Listen to your gut.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby CaliReader » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:32 am

Hello and welcome.

You are wise to consider these options, but be careful not to jump to conclusions about career outcome for yourself, especially not near term (next 10-20 years) outcome.

I'm approximately a year from diagnosis. I happened to be unemployed for part of the last year and I used that time to obsessively research this disease. I found a lot that was useful on Pub Med. I also found some inspiring stories. If you haven't yet, google Dr. Terry Wahls in Iowa. She is still practicing medicine. My current primary care doctor made it a point to tell me about her former supervising physician (apologies if I didn't get the precise title) who still teaches medicine, or at least did 5 years ago.

Since one of my current symptoms is hand tremor, I would suggest that surgery might be a specialty that ms could force you to leave at a younger age than some other specialties. I read a story last year about a medical resident with ms who chose to retrain in radiology.

There is a lot that is now known about both medical and complementary medicine options that can, for many, slow down the disease. Neuroplasticity is a very hopeful phenomenon, and not enough is known about what its full power can be with ms. Exercise, not smoking, antiinflammatory diet, supplements that assist mitochondrial function, higher education and other forms of cognitive reserve have all been shown to mitigate the ms disease process.

I don't want to sugar coat the ugly side of things, but ms can be milder or more severe. You don't know yet how things will go for you. Statistically, especially if you work on your health, you have a reasonable shot of making it until old age would have slowed you down anyway.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby jimmylegs » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:43 am

hi kmb welcome to the forum.

personally, I have what seems to be permanent sensory loss after my dx attack. I regained my position sense but still have stocking and glove deficits re fine textures and vibration. i regained ability to type without watching my fingers, play guitar etc, but it doesn't seem like it will ever be to the same level as before.

fwiw there are sports injury as well as nutrition issues (turned out to have some chronic deficiencies/deficits) in my background, but no siblings or other relatives dxd with ms. if you are interested in ruling out any of the nutritional aspects associated with ms, I could point you in the direction of some useful research. could help to make sure those aspects are not contributing to your situation.
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby lyndacarol » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:29 am

KMB wrote:I was recently diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS about 2 months ago...

I'm 26 years old... I have a brother who has primary progressive MS diagnosed when he was 20 and is currently almost fully wheelchair bound...
I'm an MD currently in my second year of surgical residency program. As I'm sure all of you went through this, I keep asking my self weather I should seek a new career path or at least a specialty. So far I have only had 2 attacks or relapses and they both have been almost completely sensory... . I was wondering if there are any other members with a similar set of circumstances that need to use delicate hand skills for their job.
And weather or not they had to do something else.
On one hand I recovered from my last relapse with pulse therapy and I'v started on a DMD so I can go back to the Operating room...On the other, If i get another or any progression I am not sure I can keep up.

any thoughts or personal experiences?

Welcome to ThisIsMS, KMB. In light of your recent diagnosis with RRMS, you are wise to consider whether you should seek a medical career outside of surgery. As you know, every MS case is unique with its own set of symptoms. But, whatever your eventual situation, you will bring a special understanding and compassion to your patients because of your own experience with MS (yours and your brother's).

Similarly, we are willing to share our experiences and opinions, when asked. We are open to your questions.

Each member here brings his own personal beliefs about MS; currently, mine include the suspicion that wheat/gluten sensitivity and hyperinsulinemia are involved in this disease. As I do with everyone, I urge you to have testing in these areas. Diet seems to be the most effective, as in the case of Dr. Terry Wahls (http://www.TerryWahls.com) which CaliReader mentioned. I suspect that this is due to a diet's affect on these two conditions.

We wish you all the best.
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby amberfer » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:28 pm

I am also newly diagnosed and can't offer advice, since I'm considering changes to life plans as well - but I just wanted you to know, I'm also 26. I am heartbroken for the emotions behind your words; giving up the time and money you've spent and your dream career would be so devastating.

No one in my family or extended family has MS or any autoimmune disease that I know of; however, I am certain that my sister has something neurological. Unfortunately, my mom and sister do not trust doctors, and believe that diet and supplements and herbs will cure anything. So she's diagnosed herself with an unknown neurological disease.
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Re: Newly diagnosed, facing some difficult questions

Postby Serapis » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Previously as a Chef(1 year qualified) i was running a small kitchen with an apprentice, needless to say its become impossible to continue safely. So i'm currently looking for alternatives
Considering accelerating my plan to get into uni, though how i'll afford it is another question.

Its a dam pickle when it effects your ability to do what you want, but there may be other options available now that weren't before.
At least i hope so but i've yet to find them.
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