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Braving MS for over 13 years
Posted on February 28 2014
By the end of that year I had blurred vision in my right eye and had gone from one eye doctor to eye specialist to another. Finally ending up at a retinal specialist who said I had a wavy line in my retina but something he thought would go away. It did, so I didn't think much of it.
I got pregnant with my daughter that winter and didn't experience anything else until after my daughter was born. I was tired a lot. I thought it was from having a baby, but it was more than just tired. Then in 2000 I was having the pain, weird pinching, tingly pain in my neck again and a feeling when I bent my head forward of an electric shock going down my left side into my left hand, making the fingers numb and down my leg making my toes go numb. I even felt a weird wooshing feeling in my heel.
I went to a NEW doctor that time. He examined me and said, "Well, it could be a pinched nerve or it could be MS." I calmly freaked out. After the appointment I went back to work and looked up Multiple Sclerosis. All I could think of was Annette Funicello and it scared me so much. What I found was a list of symptoms of everything I had been experiencing and the one that really stood out was "blurred vision in one or both eyes." As soon as I read that I called my doctor back and went back to see him the next week.
It took an MRI, an appointment with a neurologist and more tests for me to be told on November 15, 2002 that I had MS.
I was really scared and still never know what to expect. However, since my diagnosis I've had my son, whom I love so much. I've gotten divorced. That wasn't so much fun. But I've also been on different medications, one was the injectible Copaxone that I was on for 6 years, battled with side-effects from a new oral medication and now I'm finally on a medication that has helped me so much. I'm doing much better.
I also recently got married to my wonderful husband, Ray, who supports me in my fight for a cure.
This is why I still fight and raise money and awareness of this disease. That very first doctor I went to didn't know about MS, didn't know the signs. The retinal specialist I went to didn't know I had Optic Neuritis. I lost a couple years from being diagnosed, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be different since I have two beautiful children who make me brave.
I want there to be more awareness and I want to one day hear people say, "I used to have MS."