Tuesday, January 14, 2003


They used to tell people with MS to take it easy. Exercise? Oh no, that just stresses the body...and you're dealing with enough stress, you poor thing.

Well, no more. Evidence is showing that exercise is quite good for people with MS. It's a way to reduce stress and fatigue, as well as improve strength and flexibility. I was exercising quite regularly before I knew I had MS, but then I joined the Slacker Club. I was just too ticked off at my body to make time for exercise, since, after all, I had been exercising and got sick anyway.

I'm getting back into the routine. During a Junior League silent auction, I picked up a Pilates package which includes some classes, some private equipment sessions, and a massage. I went to the first class last week, and I'm going to sign up for the whole 10-week beginning session. I think it will do me some good, especially helping to strengthen my back. My first private equipment session is tomorrow. And I haven't forgotten about the massage - I never would! - I'm just saving that.

I work in a different building now (same company, they just moved my group), and am literally down the hall from a workout room. So I have no excuse. I went yesterday after work and had a grueling session on the elliptical trainer. The problem is, it was too grueling, and now I'm run down. I forgot the cardinal rule for people with MS and for people resuming an exercise program after a long layoff:

Don't push too hard too fast.

I overdid it, and I'm paying for it. Sometimes when I push too hard, my right leg goes numb below the knee. Other times, I just get tired. No numbness this time, but I was one majorly tired puppy afterwards (and still am). On the plus side, I slept beautifully last night.

MS Events

This is a busy week on my MS Society chapter's schedule. On Thursday, there's the Working Women's luncheon and the monthly meeting of the self-help group. On Saturday, there's a conference for newly diagnosed from 9am to 3pm.

I'm going to lunch, but that's it. I've been to so many events over the past several months that I really feel like I'm pretty up-to-date on the news, research, information, etc. And I don't think it hurts for me to put a little distance every once in awhile. I don't want to bog my thoughts down so much into focusing on MS that I forget about the other things in my life.

This week is certainly a busy one, even without those events. I had a board meeting last night, Pilates class tonight, Junior League meeting tonight, and a Pilates exercise session tomorrow. Amidst all of this, I also have to get ready for my business trip next week. That trip is a big reason I'm staying home on Saturday. I'll need the time to do laundry, pack, and basically get things done so I don't feel overwhelmed before I get on the plane. And now the weathermen are saying we might get some winter weather on Friday. Hello???? What part of already busy is so hard to understand here?

Insurance Issues

Well, my company changed medical insurance providers, effective 1/1/03. Given the headaches I had getting my medicine and coverage straightened out in the first place, I was understandably nervous about this. I was reassured, though, when I saw all of my doctors listed as part of their network, and when I saw Avonex and the other MS drugs listed on their Preferred drug list for prescriptions. This meant that I'd get the lower copay and shouldn't have to worry about getting my medicine. I notified the delivery service that my insurance was changing, and left it at that.

Until I got the phone call that it wouldn't be that easy.

Apparently, I needed to use a new delivery service to get my medicine - my insurance doesn't work with my current carrier. I panicked. Oh great, I'm going to get put through more hoops, and have to deal with the nightmares of bureaucracy again. How many times would I get hung up during this round of phone calls.

Relax. It turned out to be much easier than that. I called, and they were willing to arrange my next delivery date on the spot. Just like before, I'll have it waiting in my carport when I get home on the designated day. The only thing they needed that I couldn't give them right away was a prescription, and they gave me the contact numbers so my doctor's office could phone or fax the prescription directly to them.

So I had one hoop to jump through - but it was a small one, so that's OK.

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