So Doc….you say it’s Multiple Sclerosis….YES !!! Thank You Universe !!!

Original Post 6.16.2017

Yes, you saw that right. I said “Thank You Universe !!!” It’s not as odd as it sounds. When faced with some possible outcomes, one of which is Multiple Sclerosis and another is a Brain Tumor….I said bring on the M.S. I mean, I can trick out a wheelchair, but I cannot come back from the dead. (not that all brain tumors are fatal, but they sure as hell are scarier in my mind than M.S. Also, there may have been other conditions that could have caused the problems I was having, but those two were the ones that STUCK OUT at me.

I was diagnosed in May of 2004. At that time, my Neurologist believed that I probably had M.S. for years prior to my diagnosis. At least since my early 20’s. I turned 28 two months before I found out I had Multiple Sclerosis.

Yaaaaaaay, goodie, now I have an explanation for all those odd things that I was experiencing.

Something to note about me, I like denial. A healthy dose of denial helps me stay sane. Some days reality just gets to be too much and I can either take it all in and push back out what I want to deal with right then, or take it all in and become overwhelmed and fall apart. So, denial allows me to dump some of my mental trash into a drawer, pick out the stuff I can deal with at that moment, and close it until I’m ready to do some cleaning.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we. In 2003 I ran 35 miles a week and worked out at the gym 5 days a week. I had a full time job, a husband, two children, 2 cats, and 1 dog. I was a busy, busy girl. I also thought I was healthy.

I was training for a half marathon that was going to be the weekend after Thanksgiving 2004. It was the Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon in Cocoa Florida. I regularly ran 4 to 6 days a week, with one 13 mile run on the weekend.

All was on track, it was a few weeks before the race…..and I did something stupid. I tried to speed up aaaaaaand added a few more miles on to my weekly runs.

Not a good thing to do. I ended up with a stress fracture in my….left….I think it was my left…tibia. It has been a looong time…memory is a bit foggy on the particulars. I thought it was just bad shin splints….but soon accepted the fact that shin splints don’t bring you to tears before you hit the two mile mark. I was devastated. It sucked. I went and picked up my race packet and shirt and quietly stuffed it in my race shirt collection bag, never to be worn. If you don’t run it….you don’t wear it! My family physician sent me to a local internist, Dr. Antonio Rivera.

He said that I shouldn’t run or walk for exercise for a while, but that I could ride a bicycle. The pain wasn’t bad unless I was running or doing a lot of walking. I was told that it was probably a bad case of shin splints…I was given nsaids and a follow up appointment. At that follow up the pain was still the same so the Dr. scheduled a bone scan.

Next morning I went to the hospital to have the scan. “Sit up on that that table” I was told. Now it was a tall table and I’m only 5 ft. 1in. on a good posture day. A few minutes later the scan was done . As I went to hop off the table a tech rushed out….”hold on, hold on, I’ll help you down”. That didn’t sound promising.

Needless to say, I had a Baaaaaaad stress fracture. I wasn’t even allowed to walk once the tech picked me up off the table. He sat me in a wheel chair. WTF. I sat in that thing until they had my leg totally boxed up from toes to knees in some funky brace. I was told to use crutches too. DAMN IT !!! No walking on it at all, even with the brace for , I think it was something like 14 days, then went back for a recheck.

Yaaaay, I got to lose the crutches, but had to keep the stupid brace…for MONTHS. This began October 2003 and I was still being treated by the Dr. in May 2004. That is a LOOOOOOOONG time to go without some serious running.

Well while I had been off my leg, I noticed that when I bent my head forward I had a neat feeling shock run down my spine . It felt neat, but I knew something was wrong. I figured I had a problem with a disc in my neck or a pinched nerve. So I went about life as normal.

The denial thing I was talking about earlier…It had already come in to play. It was allowing me to deny the little odd things I had been experiencing for over a year. The shock thing was just the newest in a line of odd things that I was experiencing. Those little things began a long time before my tibia injury. Denial can be a good thing, but it can also be a B*tch………….

Multiple Sclerosis…WOW…what more can I say ?

man look at those Dawson Fingers…..yeah they’re mine

Sooooooo, who knew? Really? I never would have guessed. The BIG M.S. Once again , WOW !!!

Looking at the big MRI films the Neurologist is showing you….. That weird feeling, where you get hot, then cold, then hot again…….where your hearing temporarily fuzzes out and all you hear is the…”wah wah wawa wah” of Charlie Brown’s teacher. You know…. ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.’ You snap back to the present and….”Can you please repeat that Dr.?”

Words like Demyelination, Scleroses, ventricles, neurological deficits, disability, disease modifying medication, lumbar puncture, and Oligodendrocytes….float through the air…..bobbing up and down in front of your face.

Once again……WOW !!!

So, the new To Do list:

Look up Oligodendrocytes and Myelin

…..”proteins…fatty layer”…?

What does Demyelination mean?

…..sh*t, sh*t, sh*t….

Google the HELL out of Multiple Sclerosis

!!! DAMN IT !!!

Get a stiff drink…..heavy on the Vodka

…..Feel a little sorry for yourself…..

Start new ‘disease modifying medication’

…..Cry a little…..OUCH…..Damn It !!!…

Go to a MAJOR book retailer. Order a Grande Cafe Mocha with extra whipped cream and research M.S. some more……WAAAAAAAAY more than you probably should

SIGH…..and realize you have to come to terms with this diagnosis