I began noticing problems in 1988, when I was 40. I was stumbling and on and off numbness. A Doctor told me that he thought I had relapsing/remitting MS. Then I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis through a lung biopsy and MS was put on the "back burner." My symptoms increased but never addressed. In 1995, we moved from VA to MA and by then I was hardly walking, numbness much increased as was the pain. I was sent to The Brigham where a met a wonderful Doctor who firmly diagnosed me with MS. Sadly, by that time, it was progressive!
I am a Minister and served as a Pastor in VA for 15 yrs. I also founded and organization for homeless adolescents. When we moved to MA, I felt lost then, through my Dr. I found a wonderful organization, The MS Dream Center in Cranston, RI. I always have stayed away from "support groups" because I didn't want to sit around and talk about how sick I was. I try to be a positive person. My Dr. told me they could really use me here. "Use me?" I decided to go and see what it was about. When I walked in the Founder, Marie a person with MS welcomed me and then said, "so what did you do before MS?" I told her I was an Ordained Clergy and she said, "just what we need!" I teach a weekly Bible Study and am available to talk to anyone who needs support. Sadly, I have also led Memorials for those who have died in our group.
More than Bible Study we have Crafts, Yoga, Dance (yes, I said dance! amazing what a wheelchair can do!) We have Bowling trips and sailing and a number of other things. For me, it is my goal to spread the news so as one of our slogans say, others will find "a place where people with MS help people with MS" I still lead Services and perform Weddings outside of The Center.
What would I say to someone just finding out they have MS? MS can rule you or you can rule it. You have two choices in this life you can laugh or you can cry I choose to laugh and I hope you do as well! You are not alone! God Bless!