Not sure where to begin so here it goes...
I was 15 when my hand started cramping over the remote 1 weekend. I didn't think much of it but told my parents.We made an appointment with my PCP for the following week. We went thru many blood tests and carpal tunnel tests. My PCP still didn't think that was correct and referred me to a neurologist. He ran more blood work, motor tests, memory tests, mri's and lastly a spinal tap. It could happen to anyone. Right?
The appointment at which I received the diagnosis of relapsing-remitting MS was in September of 2000 My neurologist told me there were lesions, told me it was MS, gave me a lumbar puncture, and then left me to lay still for 30 minutes. Those are minutes that I’ll never forget.
Over the next 18years, there were many more hurdles. There were speech impairments in high school. My mom having to give me intermuscular shots that made me feel like i had the flu every week. Swimming through college (literally fighting to have my life) where i got stuck in the deep end and slowly back-peddaled my way out so the life guard didnt have to come get me. Found out later that week that my ms had moved to my spine. Went on to work fought with managers for some type of temporary Disabilty Act. Was harrased to come back to work.
The most recent one and the one that seems to be taking the longest to get throught was just 2 years ago where i was peg legged. 2 car accidents that made me think i need to give up my license.Had a ball spill from it where i tore cartlidge inmy knee and had to have surgery.I never had any trouble making excuses for my tumbles – clumsiness, ice or too-high heels. I told my stories for sport at cocktail parties, laughing them off and inviting friends to join me in that laughter.
Suddenly, the future that I'd imagined for myself no longer exists. I need to begin creating a new one. In some ways, I’ve been forced to reimagine my past as well. All those falls: not just clumsiness. I’m 33, but I’m getting to know myself all over again.
The past few months have been scary, disappointing, stressful and dark. (And believe me, winter is dark dark dark even without MS specialists to see.) Surprisingly, they have also been joyful, reassuring and filled with hope and laughter. I’m just getting started, but I look forward to sharing more about my journey with you here.