Well folks, I believe I was diagnosed with M.S. on May 25th 2004. The first time I saw a Neurologist it was…..”you most probably have M.S. ……well No…..You Definitely Have M.S……I am diagnosing you with Multiple Sclerosis.” This was with only 2 MRIs under my belt. I hadn’t had a lumbar puncture yet. Just 2 MRI visits. 1 that the Doctor treating my stress fracture made me get….because of my offhand question about pinched nerves and shocks down my back when I bent my neck. The other set my new Neuro sent me for …..before he even saw me.
I am a pragmatic sort. I tend to be a glass is 55% full, individaul. I hover juuuuuuuust above ‘Oh Sh*t this Sucks’ and… sort of….at ‘Well Damn, at least I don’t have to make a Goodbye video for my kids’. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was actually relieved to be diagnosed with M.S. Considering all of the other Very Scary things out there, I got the better end of the bargin. If something has to be wrong with my BRAIN…..I’d rather it be this, than anything else. I’d rather be Alive and possibly in a Wheelchair, than Walking but soon Dead.
Mind you, this doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sorry for myself every so often. Those little pitty parties are usually followed by loads of guilt and self loathing when I remember there are people out there who ARE recording ‘Goodbye Videos for their kids’. Who am I to feel sorry for myself when others have it soooooo much worse off than I do?
I do though, allow myself a few minutes of ‘oh woe is me’ time every so often. I only allow a few minutes of it. I then promptly kick myself in the A** and remember the people making those heart wrenching videos.
The universe, such as it is, has allowed me to watch my (at my diagnosis) elementary school children…..grow into well adjusted adults that are hardworking, contributing members of society. My youngest is now a Senior in College. My daughter graduated a little more than a year ago, and moved half a country away for a good job. We miss each other terribly. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with my children. They never gave me any trouble at all and they grew up to be very caring individuals. (end of mom’s sappy brag).
Anyway…..flashback about 27ish years……It was my 16th birthday I think…..or somewhere close to it. I still remember what I was wearing. It was a pea green pair of BONGO jeans and a long sleeve, airy, floral button up shirt. My hair was long and had that “Big Bangs” thing that was still hanging around from the 80’s. I was living in Merritt Island Florida with my mom and baby brother. I believe my boyfriend had just left my apartment. I was walking towards the hallway but stopped and turned around to watch the TV. I think it was the news or one of those 60 minutes type shows.
They were talking about Annette Funicello. It had to be in 1992 because that was when I turned 16. As the story ended on TV, I turned to my mom and offhandedly said…..”I’m going to end up with that….that is what I will die from”. I can remember my mom saying ‘Why….why do you think that?’ and my nonchalant answer was ‘Oh I don’t know, just because….that’s what it will be’. The story had been about Annette coming out about having Multiple Sclerosis.
I didn’t think about that moment again until I told my mom I had MS. My moms jaw dropped and she reminded me of my out of the blue comment.
Kind of strange…..off putting….and precognizant. I had said that to my mom…never really even thinking about whether I was being serious or not. Strange….all I can think is that maybe I had been experiencing a few of the things Annette had mentioned dealing with during her time with M.S. Maybe I was jokingly flinging that comment out there as a half hearted explanation for some of the things I had been feeling. I guess I won’t ever really remember. Mind you I was diagnosed 12 years after my 16th bday so a bit of time had passed since my comment to mom.
Anyway….a week or so after my diagnosis I started taking one of those lovely things called Disease Modifying Medication…Betaseron….lovely every other day shots. Lots of Flu symptoms until I got smart and took Advil right before I did the shot…..which I did right before bed. Took 6 weeks to get past feeling like I had the flu, body aches, chills …etc. Also a good thing that I am not afraid of needles. It isn’t fun, but I do it.
But as with many people who have MS. That type of medication is only one of many that we have to take. We have to fight fatigue, D3 deficiency, B12 deficiency…..nerve pain….muscle spasms….etc. ………More Medication to Go Around….