I am a wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher and I also have MS. I have been married for 23 years to my college sweetheart, and wife to three children ranging 22 to 13 yrs.
I now realize I have had MS symptoms before I was married and teaching for 22 years. My husband said a decade ago, when we were in marriage couseling " You are always sick, tired, and he felt I choose not to do things around the house". I was trying to juggle being a wife, mother, elementary teacher, facilitator of various committees, at work Bible and Sunday School teacher, Boys Scout Treasurer, and getting my Masters (at the same time) and turning 40. I was using all my energy and I had none for my family. My way of coping with the stress and fatigue was sleeping all weekend , eating junk (for energy),and gaining over 60 lbs.
My body had two decades of running on empty and It all came to a halt when I was hospitalized in 2006. I now know it was a relapse, but was told when I had pain shooting up my arms, back, chest, legs, and numb hands, blurred vision it was stress and fatigue, and due to my hours on the computer. My memory loss was due to "stacking" being so overwhelmed by my activities I could not recall. I knew something was wrong, so I quit several activities hoping it would get better. While I completed my masters I was still snappy, tired, and my heart was racing. I was told this was a panic attack and given anti anxiety(depressants).
My body and mind knew something was wrong and I kept going back to my doctor, a female, I met when I was hospitalized she began testing, treating, and ruling out diseases, documenting, and she listened to me.
Summer of 2011 something bit me. I was tested for limes, west nile, lime again. I went on a cruise and after the earthquake on the east coast I felt dizzy and off balanced. I had electrical shocks shoot from the back of my head through my heart to my leg. My left leg was numb and on fire. I had incontinence. so bad I had to begin wearing Pose pads. I had vertigo/dizziness which lasted 4 months. I began be treated for Benign Positional Vertigo. I went to bed with one of my stroke migraines and awoke on Deceber 28, 2011 and was walking like a drunk. My doctor sent me to a ENT which stated it could be inner ear or MS. I had months of testing MRI (positive), spinal tap(negative), evoked potentials( positive). I saw two neurologists, who I consider idiots. Who said after I brought them all documentation I think you have MS, pick a medicine and get back to me.
Finally one of them diagnosed Feb. 2012. From Heels to Walker is an adjustment not only for me but my entire family. My husband watched me decline, and with my children does all the housework and modified the house. My parents thought I was going to die, I had to educate them. I had to learn to say no, so I can do the things I love and still work. I wake up with quarter of tank of energy, by 1pm I 'm done. I had to take off 2 months so I could be offically diagnosed, and had to have my employer modify my environment to conserve energy (got aide & elmo projector, and ergonomically chairs). I learned I had to be my own advocate and gave my employer info, suggestion, and doctors note. I found a great neurologist ( THE KEY). one who listens and explains things, and I don't want to punch in the face. I have a team of doctors which stay informed of my test and medication. My sleep doctor prescribed nuvigil to help with fatigue and energy alertness( I was diagnosed with sleep apnea to explain the fatigue in 2008). I also have to take anti depressants . I get anxious, irratiable, angry, and occasionally I have a pity party ( but since no one is invited i don't stay long) .MS is something I can manage, because I've been managing it for decades.
People first feel pity and ask are you okay, are you going to continue working. My response is to walk confidently with my red walker thankful to God I can still walk. I have had to humble myself, which is hard for me , and ask for help and thankfully receive it. I must prioritize my life and my job is not first, but God and family are. My children are more compassionate and I realize how much my husband, family, and friends love and care for me. There are so many treatments for MS and more are coming out each year. I NOW KNOW I AM NOT CRAZY. I DO FELL SICK,FATIGUE, PAIN. I HAVE LEARNED TO HUMBLE MYSELF AND ASK AND RECIEVE HELP. I AM LOVED! GOD SAID, HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME NOR, FORSAKE ME.
I AM BLESSED...and I also have MS!