I was newly diagnosed with MS in August 2016.. the 11th to be exact, I will never forget that day. I had been experiencing numbness in my feet for quite sometime that I chalked up to “poor circulation” due to being a major couch potato for last couple of years. After several months went by, the numbness started to shift to different locations, my legs would feel like I had hundreds of elastics around them at any given time, my left leg would become heavy and I felt like I was stomping, or walking flat foot and I had a few episodes where my abdomen felt extremely tight. Not the, “I can’t breathe” tight, but it felt like I had a really thick, tight belt on. Through all of this, I had been to my doctor and had gone for a brain and spine MRI to “rule out MS” and here we are. I was fortunate enough to be able to see an MS specialist almost immediately after diagnosis and started on medication almost within a month. Having a good team of Doctors is so crucial. I am currently taking Rebiff injections 3 times a week. Side effects are not ideal….. but tolerable and could be much worse.
When I was diagnosed my immediate thoughts were, OK! No problem, so what do I need to do? I’m going to research the hell out of this and do everything exactly right, or so I thought. I went into major information overload, MS info being sent my way, articles, blogs, feeds, webinars, doctors…. STOP!!! I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew people were trying to help and I asked for the help but it was consuming my life with MS and that was exactly what I didn’t want to happen. One of the first pieces of literature I came across when researching MS was about a Medical Doctor from the United States who suffered from PPMS and was in a wheelchair with head support. This caught my eye because the doctor had a photo from the present of her on a bike with the title reading “I put my MS into remission” or something along those lines. This doctor took the best of the best medicine (according to her) but was just very unlucky. She mentioned how she turned to food and lifestyle and what’s called the Autoimmune Paleo lifestyle. I started avidly researching how foods can harm or help heal our bodies and I thought, this Doctor is living proof! For me personally, these findings, that particular article, brought hope to a very scary world of the unknown that we all call MS. It doesn’t make everything better as nothing is guaranteed but it gave me another route to look at… more to hope for.
So why did I want to start writing on the Someone Like Me? I’m glad you asked. For selfish and unselfish reasons to be honest. Writing helps me clear my mind, talking about it in silence through written words rather than verbally, helps… AND! I want to be able to help support others who are or were newly diagnosed. Those feeling scared, helpless,hopeless, shocked, whatever the case may be. My thing is, MS is not going anywhere so how can I turn this into something positive, or at least have positive aspects of it. Supporting and helping to educate and motivate others. That’s it. I am lucky enough to have a health care team that work hand in hand with each other and so I have access to tips and tricks and various info that some may not have access to due to financial reasons, lack of benefits etc. If I learn something that could be or IS beneficial, I want to share it. Knowledge is power and the more we know the more questions we can ask our health care teams and make sure we are doing what’s best for us personally. As I trail off I will remind you that life is uncertain for everyone, not just those with MS. Symptoms could get progressively worse…..perhaps not. Months can go by with no symptoms; months can go by with no break in symptoms. You could also be incredibly healthy, clean bill of health and (knock on wood no one ever experiences this) walk outside and get hit by a car. Seems dramatic right? Really though…. Nobody knows what tomorrow brings so try not to dwell on the what ifs even though its not always easy.