Many people that have been diagnosed with MS can look back in their lives and identify times that they had MS symptoms long before they were diagnosed with the disease. When I tell my story though, I am only speaking about the events directly leading up to my diagnosis. In hindsight, I can tell you that I am grateful for the way things played out, but I certainly wasn’t when it was happening to me.
I was at work and a coworker friend of mine was kicking the back of my knee with her foot as we were walking down the hall. I don’t remember how many times she did it, or how many times I avoided tripping, but I do remember the one I went down on. Not only had I torn my nylons, but two fingers in my left hand went numb within the hour. It seemed strange, since I don’t remember landing on my fingers, but I shrugged it off. There were more important things to think about like how was I going to get even with Michelle for bruising my pride. I went to sleep that night, figuring the numbness would go away in the morning and didn’t give it a second thought. When I woke up the next morning my entire left hand was numb, and by noon from my fingertips to the middle of my forearm was numb. Over the next few days the numbness continued to spread up the rest of my arm and down the left side of my body to my left knee.
Call to the doctor
The order of events that happened next are kind of a blur to me. Maybe because they happened so quickly, maybe because I was terrified and tried to block them out, maybe because they happened almost 20 years ago. Within a week my doctor ordered Evoked Response tests, 3 MRI’s, a spinal tap, and enough bloodwork to save a nation. Then the call came. “We need you to come into our office to discuss your test results, TODAY.
As I type this, the hairs on my arm are beginning to stand up, and I can feel my breath catching in my throat. I don’t remember the words she used to tell me I had Multiple Sclerosis. I remember the silence that followed and the hopeless and pitiful looks she and her nurse were giving me. Somehow the numbness that I had been feeling during the past week seemed to take over my brain and my emotions. (pun intended). The doctor ordered a course of steroids for me and gradually I started to regain feeling in the reverse order that I had lost it. First my trunk, then my chest and shoulder, and eventually my arm except for my left hand which is still numb.
As I mentioned earlier that was almost 20 years ago, but that is where it started for me. In the last 2 decades I have learned and experienced so many things due to this disease that I think may be helpful to share with others. Living with MS is not new to me, but blogging is. If you’re willing join me on this new adventure of mine, please follow the blog, or Look me up on Facebook. Grace Fullnot (same picture I use here) If you do add me on facebook, please send me a short message saying “Hi”, I saw your blog, or something to that effect, so that I know you aren’t a robot.
If you are reading this because you have MS or think you might, please know that yes it can be scary, it’s ok to be mad, but it really is NOT the end of the world! There are many resources out there to help you with this!!!!!!