It was February 13 2015 and I felt like I could finally relax. I was 42 years old, married, no kids.
It had been a rough start to the year and the prior 2 years had been rough to say the least. We (my husband) and I had sold our home, lived through his unemployment and three career moves for me. January 2015 started with a massive flood in our newly rented condo with less than a week to pack and move. We were grateful to move in with my parents and plenty friends to help us move. We took a well needed vacation (my last normal, healthy trip) and came home to apt hunt. Luckily, we found a great place and moved in February 1. I was looking forward to peace and calmness. That was not to be.
Monday, Feb 9th I woke up with my left ear completely plugged. Odd, but nothing to panic about. By Friday, it was not responding to over the counter meds so I called my primary to be seen. He wasn't available so I saw the nurse practioner. I was examined and diagnosed with ear infection and prescribed flonase. Felt like crap but assumed that was due to post vacation fatigue and moving. Went home to bed after taking flonase and fell quickly to sleep.
I'll never forget the sensation awaking the next morning. The world was spinning and I was completely panicked and nauseated. My hubby tried to calm me down but it was impossible to explain how awful this sensation was. My friends talked to me and urged me to seek medical help. So off to Urgent Care. I also had extreme mystagnsis and they were concerned I had suffered a stroke. Blood work ruled that out and was diagnosed with extreme vertigo. Was told to followup with an ent specialist and my primary care dr.
I saw an ent the next Tuesday- the dizziness/vertigo and plugged ear still very present. He did testing and sent me to audiology. The results floored me. He said I had suffered complete hearing loss and the hearing in my left ear would likely never return. I was devastated. I asked about the vertigo and dizziness and he said it could be months but that it would resolve itself. He diagnosed steroids but didn't feel they could help. He scheduled mri but earliest was 2 weeks out.
I went home and waited. And I got worse. My balance was gone my body sloped to the right and I couldn't walk on my own. I called the ent back but he was too busy to talk to me. The nurse called back 8 hours later; she downplayed my concerns and said it was just anxiety and would take time.
I prayed to God to please help but I continued to get worse; there were several falls. My 21year old nephew was babysitting me so my husband could work.
Finally, 2 long weeks passed and it was time for my mri. My dad and husband had to help me crawl down/carry me down the stairs. Damn 2nd floor apt. We went to Strong for my mri. It was rough cause I'm clausterphobic. I was ok till the contrast. The tec was inexperienced and couldn't get my vein. After 5 bad sticks, he called a nurse in to do it. By that time, I was pretty fried mentally and only got through half the contrast pics.
They saw I couldn't walk-still no one stopped us from leaving. So we went home.
It took an hour for my dad and husband to get me upstairs. I was in severe pain and my head was spinning.
My dad left and I tried to sleep. My family had a meeting and said this has to stop. We called an ambulance and went to Rochester General about 1a.m. The route to my MS diagnosis had begun...
3 months and 2 stops later (Monroe Community Hospital and finally Strong) not to mention Cat scans and 5 MRIs-I was diagnosed with RRMS. I'm still dizzy everyday-just not as awful. The double vision and mystagnisis subsided. Today I'm currently on tysabri but latest mri showed a new lesion.
I'm scared everyday. I still can't walk without assistive devices. My speech is messed up. I can't drive work and feel exhausted no matter how long I sleep.
I keep hoping this is a nightmare I can wake up from - I hate being a burden on family and friends. How do you get through the day? I really need help from those of you who keep going cause I'm exhausted and sick of living like this. Please help!