Welcome to my very first blog post! I am going to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share a bit of my “MS story.”
I am 28 years old and I have been living with MS for almost 4 years. It has been one hell of a journey, let me tell you. While being an MS patient is a significant part of my life, I prefer not to define myself as such. I prefer to define myself as a University student, an Administrator at a film production company, an older sister to two younger sisters, a daughter to my amazingly supportive parents, a good friend, and a girlfriend to the kindest, most thoughtful man I have ever known. Most importantly, I like to define myself as an independent young woman.
I have always been an independent person. Time after time though, MS tries to take away that independence. Sometime it succeeds, but usually it does not. When I was 24, I was in my prime. I had, through exercise and healthy eating, lost 80 pounds. I felt really proud of this accomplishment, and my confidence was through the roof. I was working full time at a great job, which allowed me to travel with a good friend quite frequently. About a month after my weigh-in at the 80 pound goal, I woke up one morning with the worst headache of my life.
The next day, the pain had moved from my head, into my left eye. The day after that, I started having fuzzy vision in that eye. My eye continually got worse, and other symptoms started to show themselves. All of a sudden I was losing my balance, walking into door frames, feeling tingling (along with other unexplainable sensations) all over my body, and getting weaker every day. By the time I actually got to see a neurologist, about a month later, I could barely walk.
I will never forget the moment that the doctor confirmed that my MRI showed lesions, and I did, in fact, have MS. I was sitting in the doctor’s office with my mom, and I just broke down. I’ve never been an overly emotional person, but this moment changed that. This moment changed my life.
I spent several months bed-ridden, which was beyond frustrating – I was gaining back pounds that I had worked so hard to lose, and, more importantly, I had no idea what my future was going to look like.
I was lucky enough to completely recover from this initial attack. I felt like myself again for almost two years. I went back to the gym and was doing everything I had been able to do before. I started gaining some of that confidence back.
Last year, the MS decided to go into over drive. After giving me two good years, the MS decided to give me a really bad year. I have been struggling for the last year, having relapse after relapse, mainly affecting my ability to walk. It has been a really rough year. Even now as I write this, my legs are numb, and it is hard to get around. I am frustrated. I am sure those of you reading this, who are going through the same thing, experience this frustration.
I am trying to think of some way to end this first blog that is positive or inspiring to you in some way, and it is really hard, I am not going to lie. I guess the best thing I can say is, that, despite the challenges I’ve had for the last year, I haven’t given up. I still work, I still go to school, and I still live independently. It is really hard (sometimes it feels impossible), but I do it. I keep pushing forward. I hope you keep pushing forward too.