Thursday, December 27, 2012
My Christmas Diagnosis
I hate to admit I am one of those people that likes to rush through the Christmas holidays and just get to the other side of normal. It might have something to do with me being diagnosed with MS at this time of year or I'm just one of those types who gets lost in all the craziness.
Four years ago this week I was diagnosed with Relapsing-remitting MS. We had just transferred 6 months prior to Murfreesboro TN for my husband's job. We sold our small business of 16 years and I stepped out of the real estate business (just in time for the economy to tank so no hardship there) That was hard enough except the city we were supposed to be moving to was Tampa Bay Florida area. My husbands company made the change 2 weeks prior to moving. I had researched the Florida location and we were flown down to look at housing, neighborhoods, schools, etc. Everything was in place. Then the change of locale happened. I was a train wreck. I know nothing about that area or schools. We drove up on one weekend and his company helped us find a house and the next weekend we were there for good. It was one of the hardest things we did. I hate going into something blind.
After several months I found a job, our neighborhood was phenomenal, we started making friends, the boys school was wonderful. Then I started getting a numb tingling feeling in my arm. This quickly morphed into complete numbness from my forehead and left side to my left fingers. I couldn't write. I slurred when I talked. I went to the Dr because my husband was worried I was having a stroke. The Dr. ruled out a stroke but sent me for an MRI. Within several weeks I had so many tests run and finally the all scary lumbar puncture. After all that my diagnosis was a firm MS. By then, I was so sick. My vision was completely off whack, I dropped 25 lbs in a matter of weeks, My gait was unsteady and I was in a constant panic attack. I wasn't even sure what Multiple Sclerosis was much less what would happen to me by having it. It was a horrible time for me. I was hospitalized several times and given IV steroids to help speed up the exacerbation's recovery.
I will never forget that Christmas season.
Finally by that next spring I started feeling better. But, by then I knew what MS could do to me. And did. It took me several years to come to terms what I now was able to do vs what I used to do. And also, how to take care of myself and try to help flare-ups be not so severe or scary.
In my eyes, I'm a better person now since my diagnosis. I am more calm, I am kinder and patient with others. I take medication properly and take care of myself. I look at my boys with constant wonder. My disease has given me a better outlook on life.
I now help people now who are newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. If I can give anyone hope or guidance and make that first year not so scary then I am happy :)