In late 2012, I was starting to think I was losing my mind. Memory issues, problems understanding spoken language, difficulty organizing and getting things done (when, in my professional life, I often did the work of two people because of the efficiency measures I’d developed), difficulty drawing (after 20 years as a graphic designer), all were losses I couldn’t explain. A neuropsychology exam concluded it was stress, and an MRI showed non-specific lesions in the white matter of my frontal lobes, but even when I asked, “Is it MS?” I was told it wasn’t. The problems got worse last fall, and there are now several lesions, in the “right” places, and I was diagnosed in October.
I’m having a difficult time accepting this, that I’m going to be limited (maybe?) in what I can do. Fatigue is my number one problem right now, with muscle spasms in my quads that limit going up and down stairs (and the 3- to 5-mile walks I used to go on) a close second. I’ve been athletic and active my whole life, and sitting still and resting, which I need to do, is frustrating.
I’m trying to figure out my “new normal,” but I really don’t want to believe I don’t still have my “old normal.”
I had to stop attending graduate school, but I hope to go back and finish. I hope to figure out how to live with this, to at least work around it. But the not-knowing how much it’s going to affect me in the future is, I think, the hardest part. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life, and I’ve been pretty good at rolling with the changes. I hope I can figure out how to roll with this.