I was always good at writing stories, so here's mine. It started back when I was a tour guide for a candy company. It was summertime and it was busy. One day I was waiting for a tour and I lost strength in my legs. CAT scan done, nothing found, back to work in a week. Seven years later I had a disagreement with my mother while recovering from surgery. Again, my legs gave out from underneath me and I couldn't stand. Another CAT scan, nothing was found wrong, both episodes chalked up to stress and I was off and running starting a job as a crossing guard. 5 months later numbness started in my left foot, then crept into my right foot, then crawled up my legs within months. Over a year and 3 doctors later there was still no answer until I collapsed again. 5 days in the hospital and 3 MRI scans later, preliminary MS was diagnosed; 1 month later, confirmed.
My biggest challenges are work and telling people that I have MS. I've always been seen as a strong-willed, tough little scrapper. Now to have a disease that will make me weak without notice, slow me down at work, is daunting and scary. I love to work and I'm just starting in my career as a pharmacy tech. I hope this disease won't sideline me before I start. How can I tell people when I worry what they'll think?
I want a family, but I also know treatment and pregnancy don't mix. I want to travel with my husband, but navigating the world with numbed feet may be a problem. I also want to serve a mission for my church, but I don't want MS to keep me from doing that.
If I met someone that was newly diagnosed, I think I would say, with all honesty,"I know how you feel. Scared, alone, confused, uncertain...I'm there with you. I don't know what our futures will bring, but we can face it as friends."