I am mom of a beautiful 14 year old daughter. Her dad, her and myself live together with a few animals. We have 2 dogs, a bunny, a guinea pig and an african fat tailed gecko.
My first symptoms started in 1990. But only got migraines and dizziness. Then I would feel fine and then another round of new symptoms a little worse and so the cycle began. In those days, they only looked for MS on the brain and mine is mostly in my spinal cord. So even though I had the MRI's of the brain, it went misdiagnosed for years. But I am not alone in that. Many people go through that still.
After many years of tests and being on 23 medications, I decided in 2010 to change all my doctors and start fresh. Within 6 months, I had a diagnosis that was confirmed by a couple of doctors. I started treatment and dropped to 13 medications and eventually to 8. It was wonderful.
As new symptoms occurred I would feel overwhelmed, but then remitting would kick in and all was well again.
Now as sit here and look back at my journey, I have a much clearer head about things.
I find that my biggest challenge in life is overcoming my own self doubt. Yes MS challenges me. But I have decided that each thing can be overcome - whether it is by adaptive equipment or help from others. 2 years ago I was walking on my own. Now I am in a motorized wheelchair. This was such a mental struggle, but I do soo much more now in my chair than I have in many years. My body doesn't get as fatigued and many things are accessible.
My hopes and dreams are the same as they always have been. House, family, vacations. I have all of those things. And I do want to go on a cruise someday to Alaska and I want to see Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I just will achieve my dreams a little differently.
If you are new to MS, please do not get discouraged. It is scary, and there is a lot of information coming at you in a very short time frame. Trust in your doctors. And find a support system that works for you - whether it's a call line, an online group, an actual live meeting, friends, family, counselors, etc. Find your peace.
A world free of MS would be absolutely amazing. But we have to be that driving force to get there. So for me, I volunteer at local National MS Society events and I fund-raise to the NMSS. I also am a Peer Support member for the MS Friends call line and I am the administrator of an online support group through MS Connections.
I now look at every little thing I do as an accomplishment. If I get from my bed to the living room, then I am proud of myself. The one thing I always say and it is my own personal quote is:
"Every day I get up, I beat MS. Every single thing I do, big or small, is an accomplishment, and I beat MS."
I will leave you with this thought...
If you are reading my story, that means you have reached out to gain some knowledge and some support. To me... that is a HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT.
YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOURSELF.
I KNOW I AM PROUD OF YOU!!!!!