First, let me start by saying that this is my first venture into an MS forum. I was diagnosed several years ago and have been handling things pretty well on my own, but I have come to realize that I just *might* need the support offered by such a community as this
On a Monday in late September 2004, I woke up with a numb pinky and ring finger on my right hand. On Tuesday, it spread to the middle finger; I spent a lot of my workday massaging my fingers, simply citing poor circulation. By Thursday, it had taken over my right hand and was spreading up to my forearm, but I was prepared to deal with it. I was 24 and very healthy (so I thought), and didn't see a need to go to a doctor. On Friday it began to affect my typing accuracy; I can easily type over 80 wpm with 97% accuracy, and I was making too many mistakes to ignore. Beyond that, the numbness had coursed through the entire arm and now invaded my midsection on the right side.
I called my primary physician, explained my dilemma and she instructed my to head to an ER. I left work and was there by noon, and after they had run CAT scans without explanation and I was still there at 6 pm, I knew I had a problem. My mother came to the hospital and had only been there for 10 minutes when the attending physician slipped behind the curtain to inform me that they believed I had MS.
I said nothing as wheelchairs and crutches danced in my head; my blood ran cold, as cold as the fingers on my right hand had become. My mom asked questions, but to this day I have no idea what she said and what the answers were. I retreated inside myself and stayed there for a while; a long while.
I was furious, I hated the idea that something was wrong with me that NO ONE in my family had, and I hated that no one could fix it for me. I was angry that I needed to stay in the hospital and be used as a guinea pig, and make multiple appointments for primary and neurological care when I finally got out, and take a ton of steroids to get myself back to normal. I was beside myself that I couldn't go back to work for a month, and had to be driven everywhere (Doc wouldn't sign a release for that), and have tons of tests run. I hated the way my family looked at me, and the fact that my parents cried, and even my hard-as-nails uncle shed a tear.
I was horrible, difficult and bratty. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me, and I hated them if they did. I was mean. I refused to do treatments until the beginning of the New Year ~ I just wanted to be *normal* heading into 2005. Once the new year hit, I wanted to be left alone. My mother had finally had enough, and no matter how mean I was to her, she wouldn't let up.
I've taken Avonex all the way through, never anythiing else. In the beginning, I thought I would die the side effects were so bad but I wouldn't talk about it. I still, even right now, don't know why.
I've made it to 28 years old, and I'm a lot wiser now. I've been consistent with my shots, and haven't had a relapse since. I'm accepting the fact that I have MS, and I refuse to allow it to get the best of me. I handle my own injections now, and there are rarely any side effects. I do the best that I can with what I have, and I'm dedicated to finding a cure. Most people don't even know I have MS ~ and I want to keep it that way.
I'm not sure what brought me here, but ... I'm glad I am. Sorry this is so long, but this is only the 1st time I've told my story in detail (I've always excelled in creative writing
). I'm actually kind of tearing up ...