I have been lurking for a while and decided to finally post. I often post on the WebMD MS board.
My name is Rachel, I just turned 39, and was recently diagnosed with MS. I'm married and have two sons, ages 7 and 10, plus a dog. We live in Orange County, CA. I'm a pharmacist and still work half time. We have temporarily moved into an apartment b/c we are remodeling our house. I keep telling my husband that we are going to retire somewhere cooler, maybe Northern California. I grew up in Oregon, the MS capital of the US. I walked in my first MS Walk in Portland over spring break.
I have just started Copaxone and am in the ASSERT trial. I do know that I received the prednisone, rather than placebo, in the study with all the GI side effects. I just finished a 5 day course of study drug (prednisone 1250mg). For a while I thought I was starting a flare with numbness, dizziness, & eye problems but it was determined that it was side effects from the prednisone. Today is the first time I have felt normal after the pulse drug.
Since 1999 I had mild symptoms of dizziness, numbness of hands and feet, and urinary problems. I had a surgery for the bladder issues in 2004 and the urologist quizzed me about MS:
*Do your hands or feet go numb? Yes, but I have carpal tunnel and my shoes don't fit right.
*Do you get dizzy? Yes, but I have sinus and ear problems.
*Your urinary problems are too severe to be caused by childbirth, after all you did have C-sections. Go see a neurologist about MS. And so I went home and told my husband the urologist was a basket case and had the surgery done.
In October 2005 I caught 5th Disease - Human Parvo Virus, which caused transverse myelitis. I then had a major exacerbation so I was sick for 10 weeks in all. During this time I used a heating pad on my back and woke up feeling like I was being electrocuted so I went to the ER (totally pointless). At that point I had been sick for a month and was seeing Infectious Disease which hadn't found anything that could account for all my symptoms.
I came home from the ER and researched my symptoms on the internet and from that point on, I knew it was MS. It took me 5 neurologists to get diagnosed with MS. Ironically, the one who diagnosed me was the one I made an appointment with first, but he is so famous that it took 6 months to get in to see him. My LP showed bands, my MRI has small lesions (not diagnostic stand alone) and my VEP is normal even though I have had optic neuritis in 1990 and I suspect again in January 2006.
At this point, my main symptoms are heat related, along with numbness, dizziness, fatigue, and bladder problems. Now that I'm on treatment I hope to get back to where I was in 2005, although I doubt that is possible - but I can hope for it!