For this first blog post, I am going to tell my story about how I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I am going to make this short and sweet, considering this blog is not all about me, but about my viewers as well!
That morning, walking was difficult. I lived in New York City in a small apartment that was smaller than my current walk-in closet. As I opened my eyes from a restless night of sleep, I realized that the previous two days had not been a nightmare; this was reality as its worst.
The Emergency Room at NYU seems like a blur now; it was a foggy image of MRIs, blood tests, and doctors with no answers. After a week, I left feeling more confused than I was when I entered. I had no diagnosis and was simply told that the lesion on my brain and the dead brain cells in my spinal fluid was probably Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS). http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/diagnosing-ms/cis/index.aspx
After deciding that my life was too complicated to deal with on my own, I moved back to my hometown of Melbourne, Fla to live with my parents. Just as I was getting re-adjusted to the small town life, seven months later I woke up and realized my nightmare was happening again. My legs were weak and filled with a tingling sensation, and my arms felt as if they weighed two tons. As my mother drove me to the local neurologist, I knew he would not bring good news.
Another MRI was done, and I waited with my mother in the doctor’s office for the results. I knew that if he diagnosed me with something, I would be relieved. I had remembered the previous events in New York, and I knew deep down that it would happen again. Relief was all I could trust.
So, I got my wish. He said they found a new lesion on my brain, and that I had MS. As I heard the words, I was surprised when I wasn’t relieved. I actually wasn’t in the room at all, not mentally. I was in my ’95 Toyota Celica, cruising the town with my friends. I was laying on the beach in the sand, feeling the warm rays of the sun beat down on my skin. I was in my English class, listening to my poetic teacher read the beautiful words of Walt Whitman, wishing I could write like him. I was anywhere else, but I wasn’t there.
My story has a happy ending, even though the chapters of my life haven’t been completely written. I’ am currently on Rebif 44, and I am doing very well. I have only had one other relapse since I was diagnosed, but I am still considered to have Relapsing-Remitting MS. http://www.msactivesource.com/types-of-ms.xml?utm_campaign=Forms-Specific&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=RRMS&utm_term=relapsing-remitting%20ms
Everyday life is a struggle, and the systems vary as each day passes. Sometimes I feel too weak to get out of bed, and sometimes I feel incredible, but I will never take a single day for granted. MS is just something that happened to me, it is not who I am, and although it makes up a large part of my life, I do not regret that it happened to me. All I can do is take my experience and touch others in my life by spreading MS awareness.
(From left to right) Photo from newstalkcleveland.com Subscribe to the MS Magazine – It’s free!
Photo from http://stuffcouldalwaysbeworse.blogspot.com/2011/05/ms-magazine-momentum.html
I hope you view this post as a beacon of hope, and you walk away feeling satisfied, fulfilled and enlightened.
Please share your story with me, and anything else that inspires you.