Reminder to MSers: Stay on Top of Your Blood Work!

August 13, 2019 No Comments

Category: MS, My Story
Tags: JC Virus, JCV, MS, Manage MS, PML, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, multiple sclerosis

I always say that not only do I have MS but I also manage MS. Multiple sclerosis an ongoing disease that requires constant attention and care. The better I tend to it, the better I believe I will be in the long run.

So, what does that look like? Annual neurologist visits and MRIs, monthly infusions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle of whole foods, exercise, and lots of sleep, and yes, regular blood work.

It’s easier to remember to be consistent with your medications and MRIs but it’s essential that you don’t forget about your bi-annual laboratory tests too – especially if you’re on a medication that has PML risks. PML – Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy – is a rare brain infection that leads to severe disability or death, so it’s not something you can mess around with!

While PML is very rare, your likelihood of getting it is elevated if you have the JC virus – something that you can easily test for with blood work. Even though I am negative of the JC virus, I make sure to go in for re-testing every 6 months since it’s a common virus that you can contract at any time. If I ever do test positive, I know my time on Tysabri is limited and my risk for PML goes up.

So, if you haven’t been tested in a while, add this to your to-do list. Labs should be covered by your insurance carrier if you have MS!

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