At the end of 2015 I began noticing muscle weakness and fatigue, climbing the stairs at work became near impossible. I would hold the banister and pull myself up the stairs. I had just gone through a traumatic period after my son was severely injured in an accident. I assumed because I was gaining weight and not eating well that I was simply out of shape.
A year passed without improvement and I began having blurry vision. I went to the eye Dr. for my annual exam and was sent to a specialist for a possible cataract. It turned out that it was not a cataract, but dry eye, which ultimately led to a diagnosis of Sjogrens syndrome. I complained frequently to the Dr.s about this muscle weakness and fatigue, and had begun feeling a great deal of tension in my shoulders and neck, which led to spasms.
My primary physician prescribed muscle relaxers but never questioned the cause. After about 6 months of seeing my original Rheumatologist, I decided I needed to try a new one, my first visit with him I made a complete list of symptoms which by this time included the "hug". When he walked in the room he said that he had reviewed my list and record and wanted me to go to Neuro to be evaluated for MS.
My brother was diagnosed 10 yrs ago so I was a little familiar with it, but I was convinced of was that what I really had was Fibro. I went to the Neuro (my brothers) and long story short, was indeed diagnosed with MS on Nov. 30, 2017. I am still absorbing the diagnosis and dealing with the shock, fear and unkowns. At this point, I am trying to learn what I can to try and get a handle on things so I can move forward with treatment and getting back to as normal a life as possible. The paralyzing fear is diminishing and I am beginning to see hope. I'm slowly finding the strength to take this on and I just really hope I have what it takes to be the warrior I need to be.
So far I have not found any local support groups although I know we have several MS patients in my area. I'm hoping to find others to connect with that understand how this disease affects us in every way.