Your neuro’s view would be regarded as controversial by some - there are those here who’ve been gutted to be turned down for DMDs, and would do anything to overturn it. So in a way, I feel slightly guilty to have been offered them, but declined. But I did do it with my neuro’s blessing. He’s not opposed to DMDs (i.e. does prescribe them to other patients) and promised that if he believed it would make a big difference to me in ten years time, he’d be really pushing me (so I’d know if he thought I was doing a silly thing). But with things as they are, he didn’t feel he could say that.
So I guess it all depends how really set you were on receiving DMDs, and how much you trust your neuro. If you’re really very keen on having them, it might be worth biting back a bit, or even asking for a second opinion. However, if, like me, you trust your neuro, and neither you nor he are convinced there’s a compelling case for you personally (regardless what anyone else is doing), tyou might be quite happy to play it as he suggests.
None of this has any bearing on whether you should ask for - and get - help with symptoms. As mentioned before, DMDs and symptom relief are two entirely different aspects of MS treatment. Although I’ve turned down DMDs, I wouldn’t dream of trying to make do without help for symptoms.
There are lots of possible symptoms, therefore lots of different drugs that might be offered to help treat them. But common ones are specialist painkillers for nerve pain (ordinary over-the-counter painkillers won’t work for this), and muscle relaxants, to treat spasticity (over-tightness of the muscles). There are also a small number of drugs (just two, that I can think of - and one of those is very hard to get) that may help some people with fatigue. Like most drugs, not all of them work for everyone, and some may have unwanted side-effects, so it may take a bit of trial-and-error, to find the best for you.
Of course, if your symptoms are livable-with, you do not have to take anything at all - but I reached the point that wasn’t really an option. I still don’t take anything for nerve pain (not a major issue for me), but do take a lot of anti-spasticity stuff, and a lot for joint and muscle pain (not directly caused by MS, but can be a secondary symptom from the tight muscles, and altered gait and posture).
Have a chat about all this with the nurse - see if she thinks anything’s worth a try. DMDs can ONLY be prescribed by a neuro (and only some neuros, at that), but in theory, symptom relief can be prescribed by your GP. Mine’s always been a bit reluctant, though, and seems to want everything signed in triplicate by the hospital first - which can be a bit of a pain. Although she’s legally allowed to prescribe, I think she just lacks confidence, as she hasn’t had many MS patients.
Anyway, finally, “What is a relapse?”
Technically, a relapse is any new symptoms or exacerbation of old symptoms lasting longer than 24 hours and not explainable by other factors, such as infection, or overdoing things, or even just the weather being very hot.
Relapses can last anything from days to months, but a few weeks is average. Most of mine tend to be on the long side, but I’ve so far made a good recovery in the end, so don’t give up hope, just because it’s slow.
If the symptoms are happening every day, the chances are it’s all part of the same relapse. Stress and tiredness do tend to aggravate things, but it’s not a new relapse every time this happens. Probably just the same relapse all the time, but sometimes you notice it more.
In general, relapses DO get better - hence relapse and remission. They might get worse at first, hit a peak, then gradually improve. If you’ve had it a few months, I’d guess it’s already past its peak, so shouldn’t get slowly worse. But only time will tell whether you recover completely, or only 80 or 90%. Recovery prospects from early relapses are good, but the body’s repairs aren’t perfect, so over time, some residual impairment is likely, as more and more bits get patched up.
I’m sorry this is so long. I’ve tried to take all your points one by one, but realise this may have got a bit rambly and confusing. If it doesn’t make sense, please tell me which bit you need help with.
All the best,