Hi! First, fair warning...I'm a bit of "talker" which can be off-putting to some, I'm told. This section is probably too long, but that's me! :) Okay, I'm originally from Cape Cod and am a New Englander at heart! I have a husband, Mike, and a daughter, Jane, who's six years old (bday 6/11/07). We actually live in Valrico, FL which is a suburb east of Tampa. Mike and I have lived in the Tampa Bay area for over 17 years and married 13 of those.
My daughter was diagnosed with Autism at age two along with a few other disorders. I am working with various professionals to determine the etiology of it all am learning a lot more about biochemistry, genetics, and nutrition than I ever thought possible! She is high functioning and verbal, for which I'm infinitely grateful. I was diagnosed with MS on June 30, 2006 and was in the middle of trying to conceive through fertility treatments.
After my diagnosis, I underwent IVF and was successful that first time in becoming pregnant. Jane was born a few weeks less than a year after my MS diagnosis. I was lucky to spend the first nine months of her life without the series of attacks that left me disabled.
Prior to Jane's birth I was an early childhood and elementary school teacher in my local school district for nine years and in private schools for three. I LOVED being a teacher; it was my lifelong dream to teach in elementary schools and share my experiences with other teachers. I've worked with children (and I include my daughter here!) for nearly 20 years.
Honestly, I was devastated when my disabilities made teaching impossible - cognition and extreme lassitude that requires medication were the proverbial "one-two punch" that did this to me. They are among other problems, but the cognition disability really hit me hard. I have not truly accepted being out of the classroom permanently; not sure that I ever will.
I try to stay positive, but Mike, Jane, and I are pretty much on our own. Not much family or friend support, I'm sorry to say. I have two friends and one sister who really are there for me (one lives here, one lives in New York state, and the other in Massachusetts!). I guess that's why I'm here on this site. My doctors and husband agree that I spend too much time dealing with Jane's health and giving my own a minimal amount of attention. So...here I am trying to connect.
My mother also has MS, but talking about it with her is difficult and counterproductive (for lack of better words and being as respectful as possible). My goal is to find ways to deal with what's going on with me, get healthier, and be happier. :)