An Update on Zach’s Multiple Sclerosis: May 2020

Update on Zach’s MS: May 2020

I realized I haven’t done an update on Zach’s health since August 2018 and thought it was overdue for an update, especially since we DO have a bit of news!

We don’t talk a lot about Zach’s health or his journey with multiple sclerosis and I’m thankful that he’s healthy so we don’t have to talk about it or focus on it often.

He first had symptoms in September 2016 and was officially diagnosed in January of 2017. You can read about the entire process as well as our walk down the path of MS here.

Zach goes to Atlanta to visit The Shepherd Center four times a year.

Two of the visits are for an MRI and the other two are for his infusions.

He is currently using Ocrevus (yes you’ve probably seen the commercials for it on TV!).

While I LOVE to go to these appointments with him, I haven’t been since 2018 due to Zach trying to maximize his time in Atlanta for the appointment by also scheduling work that he has in the area.

I do think it’s important for me to go sometimes to the visits so I’m able to keep that reminder of his health and what may potentially change about his health in the future.

He doesn’t love for me to go for that same reason though! He doesn’t want me to be concerned or to think of him as anything differently than perfectly healthy!

He had his most recent infusion on March 9th 2020.

At that time knowledge of the coronavirus was still very new and wasn’t yet affecting our lives in any way.

It was “the week everything changed” and it was for sure the Lord’s timing that Zach was able to get his infusion that week and work in Atlanta as well!

We were hearing that it was a serious virus and could affect people with compromised immune systems so I was eager for Zach to talk to his medical team to know if he’d be considered high risk.

Throughout this pandemic I’ve been frequently asked about Zach’s health and our concerns regarding his risks of having serious side effects if he were to contract covid-19.

While I know things may have developed since March 9th and his medical team may give different advice now with that knowledge than they did then, I felt a HUGE relief after he spoke with his doctors about coronavirus concerns with multiple sclerosis.

For the first couple of weeks after Zach has an infusion (as well as the few weeks leading up to getting his next one) his immune system is weaker.

MS is an auto immune disease and his medicine literally surpasses his immune system so when he gets his infusion, his immune system is much weaker for the first few weeks.

During this time he was at the most risk for contracting coronavirus (or any other sickness). Once we got past those first few weeks, however, he’s just as likely to contract the virus as anyone else.

His doctor also had no concerns about Zach’s ability to fight the virus if he were to contract it.

While Zach does have multiple sclerosis, he is VERY healthy. He doesn’t have any symptoms or life impacts from the disease.

We’re blessed that he’s only had the one episode (at least that we know of so far) and that his symptoms completely went away after.

He will always have the spots on his brain but our hope is that, with his medicine, he won’t ever have anymore of them or any future side effects of the disease.

I’m always just forever thankful that we caught it all so early and that we’re in SUCH incredible hands at Shepherd Center!

While we have taken the coronavirus very seriously and have followed all the recommendations provided by the CDC and our President, it’s such a huge sigh of relief to know that Zach’s health isn’t at any increased risk than any other 35 year old healthy adult male!

On top of that great news, his team also reviewed his most recent MRI scan and since he’s not had ANY changes with his MRI scans since he started going to Shepherd Center, he no longer has to have an MRI every 3 months!

He can now cut his visits in HALF.

He will need to go twice a year and at that appointment, he’ll get his infusion as well as his MRI and go over the results from his prior MRI!

SUCH great news!!!

Of course if there are any concerns about his MRI they will call him and if he has any symptoms that come up or he sees side effects of the medication or has any relapse type symptoms he can always call and discuss concerns with a doctor or go in for a visit…but it’s such a blessing and a gift to have this news and know he’s doing SO well that they feel comfortable and confident in seeing him less often!

Praise the Lord!

Right now in our current life we’re facing the economic impacts of the coronavirus and while that is such a huge stress on our plates, it’s such a GIFT to have good health and we do not take that for granted.

The perfect time to write this little update. A reminder to be thankful for the blessings we have and a reminder on the many ways God has been with us through trials and has provided for us through them!

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