Here’s your update from me! And I have actually been in contact with Kamay, Michelle and Stephanie, so I can assure you that they are also alive and well. I can DEFINITELY vouch for the alive part, at least!
To tell you about the last 5 months would take a very long time, so if it’s ok, I’ll just give you the abridged version? The Cliff’s Notes, if you will?
So, first thing’s first: I’m officially a resident of Japan now, since January. We’re all moved in, have started the jobs, and finally will get some real pay checks at the end of the month. To describe the last few months of financial concerns as we’ve planned this move and gone through with it would be almost mean to our readers, so I’ll keep it to myself (ourselves).
Now that we’ve got the house, phones, the fridge and washer, a bed, work clothes (mostly) and the internet connected, life is starting to take shape. I’m not sure WHICH shape, but it’s a learning curve we’re on at the moment and I’m just glad to be able to talk about it:)
As you may recall, I was in terrible shape when I last wrote back in November. I had lost a lot of control and balance, and was trying to get back to it slowly. I haven’t bothered with the yoga since then, due to not having a mat or gloves (or balance enough to handle it). My friend told me it was badass that I even tried. I think it was just silly and an action by my usual overachiever self.
The issues were due to a lot of things, I’m sure, most of them MS-related and probably also related to having to cut my meds down to once a week or so just to keep taking them. I think this might have been bad, but we’ll decide on that after this latest bout.
In December, 8 days before I was supposed to fly to the other side of the world, I went in for emergency surgery: my right ovary felt the need to follow in its sister’s path and try to commit suicide, due to the bad influence of 4 very large cysts that were dragging it down, literally. Thankfully, I remember that excruciating pain well enough and was able to get to an emergency room in Brighton. I told the doctors and nurses what was happening (or what I thought was happening) and they got me in and under anaesthesia in less than 8 hours. I came out fine, with a bunch of popped cysts and allowance to fly to Japan (wow, thanks?).
I nearly forgot that happened, to tell you the truth, just because of all of the other random things we’ve been dealing with!
I was on bed rest for a few days and then in recovery mode, so no fitness of any sort for me then. Then we got on a plane with very heavy suitcases and moved to Tokyo.
Of course, as soon as we got here, I signed up for the national healthcare. OF COURSE. There are some steps you have to go through when you move to a new country, like finding a new doctor. I went to one of the better neurologists in the area, and found out that Japan doesn’t have Copaxone. I was totally ok with that, because I’d wanted to switch to Gilenya for a while now. So that’s what they offered me, EXCEPT: you are new to this country, have no med records and we need to prove you have MS before we give you drugs. So I had to spend 2 days and 2 nights under ECG observation on the meds, letting them test me up and down for the disease I’ve had for almost 7 years… In the hospital. Bored out of my mind.
The good news though is that now I’m on the new meds and everything is going fine, AND I got an actual ‘MS Card’ (still don’t know how to play it) that states I won’t pay full price for any medical service. Awesome. I’ve still got some follow-up appointments to go to, and have to also do a follow-up from the ovary thing. So that’s in my near future.
Oh, and my computer died a few weeks ago, so I am using my boyfriend’s computer some days, or not at all if I’m working a lot. His laptop is awesome and the same as mine, except that his is from the UK so is correcting my spelling when I type. Favorite. Criticize. Ooh, it’s letting me type like an American today!!
I’m writing today because I’m still not 100% back to better, but I am to a point that I think I can try again. So yesterday, I started back on the C210k challenge, to try to see where I am in the range of my normal abilities.
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to massage my work schedule into something livable, and it’s coming around April… I work right across the street from the Imperial Garden in Tokyo, which is apparently a favourite 5k track for just about the entire population of the city. I’m down with that. I found out about some public baths, showers and lockers in the area, so one day when it’s NOT raining (I would have done it today otherwise), I’ll be taking a walk around to see these places. Because I need to know they exist, how much they cost, and if the shower places allow tattoos. If it costs more than the price of my daily commute (660 Yen, approximately $6.60), I will just go home and do it all there instead! On my split days (7-10:45/4-10:15) I certainly have enough time to go back and forth. But they won’t be happening for much longer, since waking up at 5 after you got to bed at 12 is terrible and I won’t do it.
I did that first run for Week 1/Day 1 in my neighbourhood (<<there goes the UK auto correct), and you know what? I felt like I’d forgotten how to run. Like my legs weren’t working properly. This could have been the residual damage of the MS over the past few months, it might have been the SEVERE loss of muscle that came with it (more on that later) ,or it might have been that I actually have forgotten how to run. I’m hoping for answer 3 to be the correct one, but I won’t know for a few days or weeks, I guess. We’ll see?
But here I am, alive, living in Tokyo, and I promise I won’t disappear again.