Over the past 10 years or so I’ve had symptoms that looked a lot like the start of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was too scared to go to a doctor and find out if I did have it. Last year I finally broke down and talked to the doctor and I went through a series of tests, but no one really thought if was MS. Even the Neurologist I went to thought Imight have a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. Testing showed that I didn’t have that.
Now I’ll talk about my Dad’s health and how it relates to mine. He has a history of severe depression and has attempted suicide twice. His emotional health began declining around last November and I was very concerned about him. I was getting really stressed out as I watched him suffer with depression and anxiety. I think the anxiety was the worst of it. His worries began to affect his physical health. He was fatigued and wanted to find a doctor that could fix him with some magic cure. He just kept sinking lower and lower and that became a drain on my time and my emotions.
Last Monday night I noticed that my right foot was getting numb and tingly. That’s something that happens when I’m coming down with a cold or just feeling fatigued. I thought it would resolve itself the next day. It did not. It got progressively worse. I went to the Urgent Care facility and they thought it was sciatica. I got some drugs that didn’t work. I went for a massage thinking that would do the trick. The massage was nice, but I was still in bad shape. Walking was difficult. I went to the emergency room the Sunday and got a bit misdiagnosed. Things were at their very worst on Tuesday morning wo we want back to emergency and brought in a neurologist. He admitted me. A lengthy MRI showed lesions on my cervical spine – very consistent with MS. I got a spinal tap that night. It wasn’t so bad. The next day I got an EEG while looking through one eye at a red square surround by black and white squares on a screen. That measured how my optic nerve was working .The results of that punched the diagnosis closer to MS. Then I got an MRI on the brain. It showed that I had many lesions in the brain. This is very much an MS indicator. The last thing to seal the deal was the spinal fluid that was sent to Indianapolis for testing.
While this was going on my father fully broke down. He called my husband Ernie and said he couldn’t make it. Ernie brought him to the emergency room and now he’s on the psych ward on the floor above me in the hospital. I don’t have to worry about him because he’s getting help. There were actually days when I would come to his apartment half expecting him to have killed himself. Now he’s safe and I can focus on me.
So it’s official, I have MS. I was sad when I realized that the diagnosis was probably going to come in, but I was also comforted to finally know what has been wrong with me all these years. I always thought I had bad pms, or my problem was from perimenopause. I wouldn’t be surprised if these contributed to the MS symptoms.
Now I move forward. I will transfer to in-patient rehab on the second floor of the hospital. They work you 3 hours per day (not all at once). I’ll be there at least four days and maybe two weeks. I’ll get new medication that the doctor thinks will work for me. When I’m discharged I’ll have out patient PT. I ordered two books on nutrition, I’ll be getting a shower chair to use on days when I don’t feel fit to stand in the shower. I will do yoga most days, because I really have to. I will mediate.I will take a beginning modern dance class because I need to go back to my dance roots. I will be more messages. I will cook healthy meals for myself. I will continue to create art and make jewelry. I will nurture my soul by creating, and moving, and breathing, and singing, and loving.
Sometimes you get that kick in the pants designed to make you better. Losing my full-time job a few years ago was one kick, this is another. I’m ready to face the challenge. I’m ready to stop spinning my wheels and wasting time.
I’m ready to create the life I want to live.
And of course there may be rough times, but I’ll get through them. There’s no other choice is there?
I will keep you posted. Maybe post pictures of food I cook. You can follow my creative journey on this other blog.
These are the books I ordered.