It all started back in April. I woke up with my feet tingling as though they had fallen asleep and were trying to get the feeling back. This lasted for two weeks straight so I thought I should get it checked out. It was so weird and I was embarrassed to go to the doctor for just this. Well the doctor couldn’t find anything unusual so he referred me to a neurologist. I booked my appointment but had to wait two months, and in this time my symptoms changed. My feet were fine but now my legs were tingling after I’d exercise. So weird, I would be fine but after I would exercise or walk fast across the parking lot my legs would tingle so bad, like all my nerves were freakin out!
The neurologist put me through some tests in his office and everything seemed fine so he booked me for an MRI on my mid-spine to see if there was any inflammation and also ordered a bunch of blood tests. Everything came back fine, he didn’t see any inflammation and the blood tests were normal, so the next step or ‘plan B’ was to look at my brain. I went in for an MRI on my brain to see what’s going on there. Well about two hours after my MRI I get a call from the neurologist to come in for a consult because they found some ‘abnormalities’ – duh, I could have told him that! Any way, at that point I already knew what it was. I had been doing some research on my own about what might cause the tingling in my legs and I had found one person on a forum with the same exact symptoms I had and that’s when I knew. So when I got the call I tried to remain calm but it’s a scary thing to think about and to wait for.
Thank god I have the best husband, he came with me for support and I was so glad he was there. The doctor showed us the MRI, both of them, and said that the ‘expert’ did find inflammation on my spine and that was the cause of the tingling in my legs. And then he showed us the ‘abnormalities’ on my brain, about 15 small white spots, or lesions, that is the indicator for MS. So when he said the words, ‘you have MS’ it wasn’t that I was shocked it was just now I had a ‘label’ I had a disease, a condition, this is what I’m going to be known for, my life would never be the same, that is the part that is most disturbing.
I’ve always been healthy, I’m never sick, it just doesn’t make sense that I would get this. But then again, this is a disease that makes no sense. There is no known cause and no known cure. I have to be my own doctor, plan my own course of treatment, because they just don’t know what to do for MS. Sure there are drugs that I could take to help and there are diets that I can go on, but there is no definite in any of it. All I can do is consult the internet and the specialists and come up with my own plan of treatment.
So for now I’m not taking any medication and I’m making some lifestyle changes. I’ve given up coffee, dairy, gluten, red meat, sugar, alcohol, and legumes. From everything I’ve read the dietary changes seem to offer the most positive results. I’ve given up volunteering and trying to reduce stress as much as possible. Trying to exercise more and getting more sleep. The hardest thing of all is just trying to figure out what to eat and what to feed the family. My sweet hubby is trying to eat the same diet as I am in support of my diagnosis. I ask him ‘why, why would anyone volunteer to eat like this?’ It sucks! Try going to Disneyland or eating at a restaurant when you can’t have anything on the menu. But I’m committed to staying healthy and not letting this get the best of me.
I haven’t told too many people, it’s hard to call someone and say ‘guess what I have’ so I just don’t. It’s not a secret but I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or assume that next year I’ll be in a wheelchair or that my future will be shortened or that I’ll end up disabled No one knows what their future holds so I will just take this a day at a time and like I told the doctor, it is what it is. So I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, although it’s hard not too, but being positive and being proactive, and having a great support team around me is what’s going to get me through this. I just have to accept that I now have a new normal.