Earlier, a respondednt named LULU stated: "BTW - when I am in a "remittance" I know it because I feel good. It doesn't happen often, but it's like the veil has lifted, I see sunshine, feel like my body is all connected, etc. "
This answer talked to me. It resonated.
I have had MS for a long time. I am 75 and was finally diagnosed in 2000 as MRIs became available and so amazingly helpful as a diagnostic tool. I had brain lesions, spine lesions and also 'failed' my 'evoked potential testing' (meaning that the responses to nerve stimulation of my left side dragged in comparison to those of my right). I was initially diagnosed as RR, two, three years later: "perhaps progressive RR'; then two-three years later again: "perhaps progressive/secondary progressive". I became inured to the characterizations or rubrics of Multiple Sclerosis. I had what I had and that is what I had - I thought. Now as 2019 turns its firsr pages I have come to realize something. Firstly, before 2000 many Neurologists did not believe that PAIN was a symptom of MS!! I still do not understand how one can have demylenation of the insulation around nerves and not feel the pain that insulation is meant to protect us from. Needless to say, that is not an 'au currant' medical belief. Pain is very much a symptom and it is essential that it is dealt with in treating MS, no different from vertigo or balance issues, muscle spasticity, restless legs, neuralgic frissons in which ever side of the body is primarily affected, double vision, lancing pains, and diabetic like symptoms whether one is diabetic, pre-diabetic or not at all. MS is never a pain in the butt - leave that to the urologists and other specialists of colon, kidneys, prostrate and liver which often will complicate the reading of symptoms once they appear - AND, as one ages, THEY DO APPEAR.
So the point of this ramble is PAIN. I find that when in pain most of my other symptoms are exacerbated. Ipso facto, if pain is eliminated, I ask - is one in remission? Can one be thought of as in remission?
Example, to the point: I have taken morphine in the form of Hydromorph-contin for more than four years. When I take it in high doses I am not only free of pain, but ALSO, as Lulu said: "I feel good...the veil has lifted...I feel like my body is all connected. However, consistent use does also have its consequences such as affecting my sleep.
With much pain, I use a roll-aider and cane indoors and out. I have to. I will lose my balance. I will stumble. I was a semi-pro bike racer (bicycle not motor) and now I cannot maintian my balance! When not in as much pain -not to say that I can climb back into the saddle- I feel confident enough to ride again. Instead of walking with the roll-aider in my home, I walk with arms outstretched to the walls. Finally, as the medication wears down at night, I get worse. The stairs I used two hours earlier going down, I can no longer go up without a struggle.
My neurologisty and GP wants me to wean off the opiates; I ask them and myself: why? I have attempted it and I get the same results. I am on a standard dose of Gabapentin and it is NOT a substitute. It does help neuralgia which by definition is an enigma of itself as the causes can be many.
My point is for other others to comment on: Do you believe that the relief of MS pain consititutes a 'remission' in your MS?