My first symptom started in Feb. 2010 with extreme fatigue. Then all the testing began. March 2010, the vision in the lower half of my right eye became fuzzy and blurred. It was like looking through smoke. I also had pain above the right eye. Saw so many doctors who just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. In May of 2010, I saw a Internal Medicine Doctor who immediately ordered a MRI of my head. Had 3 lesions in my brain. Referred to Neurologist. She diagnosed me with Optic Neuritis. Started treatment of Solu-Medrol to clear my vision. After many tests, I was finally diagnosed with RRMS in December 2011. I finally had a diagnosis, now it was time to discuss my treatment options.
My biggest challenges: Cognitive functions! My memory is not like it used to be. I do take medication to help keep me focused and organized. My doctor is working on tweeking the medication to find the right dose for me. My job is extremely stressful, I work with numbers, reports and spreadsheet. I stare at a computer all day. I still have vision issues. Bright lights hurts and my eyes get blurry. I use no office lights. I brought small lamps from home.
Right now, I am in a "flare" I have a viral infection that has rocked my body. I have been out of work for almost 2 weeks. I spend a lot of time resting. Which is not how I normally live. I have a 7yr daughter who is very active. I feel bad when I tell her I can't play right now. I am being forced to listen to my body. If I do too much, I will be back to square one.
I have goals, but with a stressful job and commute, my energy is zapped by the time I get home. My goal is to run a 5K. I have walked many, but never run. I am working on balancing my job and family. So difficult right now.
I dream of the day where this disease doesn't define me. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I feel "stuck". Right now..this is my struggle.
My biggest problem is listening to my body. I have always been a multi-tasker. Hard worker. I can still do this, but now on a different level. I need to take my time to stay on track and focused. I love to walk and bike ride, but I tire easily! I know, right now, I can't go on a 10 miles bike ride.
To the newly diagnosed, Listen to your body! Do not let MS define who you are. Allow people to help you. Doesn't mean your are weak. Everybody needs a little help sometimes. Prioritize. What was important before, may not be important now. For me, stress makes my MS worse, so I am looking for a different job in the town I live in. I want to spend more time living and enjoying my life and family. That is what life is all about.