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    Opinions wanted
    goldfinchie posted:
    I have been taking Copaxone for @ 8 mo.s I'm 53, female, and retired. Have recently started having pains of muscles in upper arms. An old habit of sneezing into my arm HURTS. Ones instincts says to stretch those muscles. Does it help? Why do it if not? Also, is there any kind of pattern of symptoms, where those of you that have had these symptoms can predict the probable outcome of my MS? Will be seeing my Doc. for second time in a couple months. Would like everyones input or advice. Other symptoms I have are slurred speech, memory issues and problem solving. Had the weirdest thing happen once. Was having trouble getting or finding a word in a conversation, kinda put my head down, shut eyes. This all happened very fast. But, I could see three words darting irratically around in my head, one being the one I needed, I just had to catch it ??? Has'nt happened again so far. Like I said, advice or comments?
    hackwriter responded:

    Your upper arm pain could be caused by muscle spasticity. You might not have realized that you've had this condition, and this new development could mean it is worsening. Here's a good link to info about upper body spasticity and its treatments.

    As far as the benefit of stretching spastic muscles, it can give you some immediate relief from pain by loosening that tightness--but drug therapy is what most of us have to go to eventually. Studies show that the Baclofen pump is more effective in treating spasticity than the oral version. I'm considering this option myself.

    There are no real predictors of your disease course. You will read some studies that say early onset and mostly sensory symptoms can mean less severe or fewer permanent disabilities later on. Likewise, later onset MS (after age 40) with mostly motor function disability might predict poorer outcomes. But the fact that MS is so unpredictable and can go into remission for years and for no apparent reason can be a real source of hope for you, I believe.

    For me, it's been better to focus only on the challenges I face right now. The what-ifs of disease are too scary, too uncertain, and ultimately impossible to foresee. Hope this helps.


    Patterns of symptoms:
    goldfinchie replied to hackwriter's response:
    I went to Mayo clinic some twenty years ago. No meds then. Was basically told "we are 90% sure you have MS but, until you have more symptoms we can't say for sure". I basically stuffed that bit of news away, and went on with my life, as far as I knew I wasn't having symptoms. But, alot of cognitive stuff was going on. It all makes sence NOW. I made alot of bad choices, the biggest having to be a job for 15 yrs. in an oil refinery. Stress and 12 hr. shifts alternating days and nights. Now, I keep up a large yard and the family has decided that along with taking care of a bunch of pets I should watch the grandkids (12 and 8) all day while mom is at work. I love them to death ( refused to watch the 3 yr. old even though I was treated like I was a really bad grandma for it) but, all of it together seems to be too much. Shouldn't I be treating this like preventative care? I feel like they are thinking they'll get what they can out of me. " I mean, she's not in a wheelchair yet so why not?' Venting somewhat!!! But, I plan to tell them no more after this summer. I guess I have to watch out for myself and don't count on hubby to understand. Am I right here? Thanks Kim for chatting with me I hope to get more input.

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