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It's Been A Journey

Posted on January 10 2015

My symbol first appeared in 1995. After waking, I couldn't get out of bed. My body began to stiffen more. I was diagnosed and treated for arthritis.

Beginning in April 1999, my once cheerful, outgoing life began changing. Waking each morning, my first thought was "Will 'old arthur' (my reference to arthritis) keep me in bed today?"

After numerous visits to different doctors, taking every lab test you can name, having surgeries I didn't need, and a major MS attack in August 2003, while driving, that hospitalized me (I didn't know what was happening with my body then); I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Once diagnosed, I began to realize the steady progression of MS, and the affects it was having on my body. True, this was a hard pill to swallow. Slowly, things I took for granted (daily hygiene, dressing and feeding myself, standing, walking, rising from chairs, driving, working, holding objects, etc.) became harder to perform. I never wanted to admit then, and still don't today, the active life I enjoyed was ending.

My life with MS became a stalled journey.

Staying connected with the outside world and keeping updated on MS research became my focus. Outings with the Park and Recreation are my weekly activities. Holding a stylus with both hands and a tablet on a table in front of me, I'm able to keep in touch with family and friends through social media. Getting in and out of cars became time consuming, I now use the city's SCAT (Specialized Community Area Transportation) service for medical appointments. I read and research (thanks goggle) everything I can find on new drugs and treatments for MS.

My mom, until her health began to decline, became my primary caregiver. When she couldn't do anymore, my only child gave up his career to take over where my mom left off. It's not an easy life for neither me nor my son.

For me, depending on others for assistance sometimes causes mood changes. For my son, it's affecting him mentally, seeing me in this condition, and physically, lifting me is taking a toll on his body; however, he refuses to put me in a nursing facility, which I'm thankful. Family and friends help when possible.

I am prayerful a cure/specific medication may become available that I may take advantage of; but, ultimately, helping finance research for a cure is my goal and what drives me everyday

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