“Hi, how are you?” is, perhaps, today’s less formal equivalent of the traditional and polite greeting “How do you do?”
Of course, the greeting is only a rhetorical question and usually we say some form of “I’m fine, thanks.” Sometimes, we say it even when we could feel better.
When you have a serous illness, such as multiple sclerosis, you are sometimes asked a real question about your health, how the disease is affecting you, and so on. And that got me thinking, how am I getting on, how am I coping with MS? And, how are you doing?
MS is certainly not new to me as my first symptoms appeared more than 40 years ago, although it was not definitely diagnosed until 2002. But, just how am I doing?
Regular readers will undoubtedly recall that I visited the HSCT facility in Moscow in October 2016, where it was discovered that I had a vitamin D deficiency. As a result of that, I began to take a daily supplement.
Then, at the end of October last year, I was seen by a neurologist here in Spain – having not seen one during my last 10 years living in the UK. Tests here showed by vitamin D deficiency had improved slightly but its level was still far too low. Additionally, they indicated a similar lack of vitamin B.
So, me medications have now been adjusted to increase significantly the amount of vitamin D supplement and to introduce a regular dose of vitamin B.
How are you? Better, worse, or the same
Have they had an impact? Well, it may be too early to tell. Any perceived gain could only be wishful thinking, but let me tell you what’s been happening.
I don’t usually use my wheelchair at home but Lisa has been unwell, so I have had to do more around the house. To enable me to do this, and to avoid the risk of falling, my neat folding motorized wheelchair has been pressed into use indoors.
On Friday, I drove into our nearest town to visit our bank and the supermarket. When I returned to my car, my wheelchair suffered a mechanical malfunction that turned out to be extremely minor and was fixed by a neighbour in less than five minutes when I got home.
Having left my chair with my neighbor, I had to get from my car into the house by myself. To most people, this would not cause a problem but to me, it was equivalent to a major trek.
I walked carefully up a ramp while holding onto a handrail, entered the house and made it to my armchair without any incident. I was not out of breath, and felt good.
It was a minor achievement that made me feel good, but was it the result of vitamin supplements or just one of my good days? Obviously, I cannot tell yet. But any improvement, no matter how small, must be seen as a sign of encouragement.
What about you, how are you getting on?
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.