Friday, November 21, 2008

Spasticity, Disability, and Solumedrol

Some articles I wrote over at The Health Central Network which you may enjoy reading. Excerpts below...

Solumedrol: It's All The Rage!!
If you have multiple sclerosis, it just might be possible that you’ve also experienced the dreaded IVSM. IVSM = Intravenous Solumedrol, a treatment which involves really high doses of glucocorticoid steroids, specifically Methylprednisolone.

Solumedrol, a potent anti-inflammatory steroid, is used as an emergency treatment for acute exacerbations. It does not affect the course of the disease, but it does shorten the length of a relapse by putting a stop to ongoing inflammation and closing the blood-brain barrier.

If your relapses have not been too severe, maybe you’ve not had the ‘pleasure’ of IVSM so far in your MS career. I applaud you in that. But if you do have to undergo the infusion, hopefully these tips will help make your experience more tolerable.
Frankenstein, Ginger, and Me
Halloween is past, over, done for this year... and I have Multiple Sclerosis, but that doesn’t make me a MonSter, does it?

Not really, but lately, I am Frankenstein!!! The 1931 Boris Karloff version.

Why am I walking with the stiff lurch of the classic film creature you ask? Spasticity.
Disability: What's your Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) Score?
Although the EDSS lacks sensitivity to short-term changes in a patient’s status, it is used extensively in national and international trials to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy. It is heavily weighted toward ambulation assessment and fails to assess cognition, upper extremity function, and fatigue.

Fundamental to the EDSS is the Functional Systems (FS) Scale which evaluates seven areas of the central nervous system which control bodily functions (0 = normal function and 6 = unable to complete task). The FS scores are especially important in the less severe forms of disability where a patient may have same abnormal disability but is otherwise still ambulatory.

Thanks for going over to to read and comment upon my humble musings. I appreciate it greatly.


  1. Hey Lisa,

    You sound terribly depressed! What is all this talk of "dreaded Solumedrol" and "'pleasure' of IVSM" etc.? I am an MS patient (in fact a relatively newly diagnosed one at that), and have had Solumedrol infusions a few times already. I must say it doesn't do anyone any good (including you) to solicit self-pity (or is it a cheap sense of fame?). To be honest, I started writing this with a certain irritation and anger, but can't help but feel pity for you - so bask in its warmth!

  2. Anonymous,

    Thank you for visiting and commenting upon my blog. The posts mentioned above are included in full on a different site.

    For the full humorous and helpful effect, please read the complete posts.

    In fact, I'm not depressed at the moment and hope that, by sharing my stories, others will benefit.

    Please don't pity me. I'm afraid that maybe something was lost in translation.

    Thank you for sharing how these words made you feel. That's the type of response which I need to consider in future writings.


  3. Lisa, I actually found this post honest and helpful. I detect no blush of self-pity at all. I enjoy your humor very much. :) Keep on keeping on.