My experience with MS goes back to childhood, well before my own diagnosis. My grandfather (and his father before him) suffered from MS and eventually became completely disabled. He lived with us and my family helped take care of him (even learning the ins and outs of a ventilator, changing IVs, etc). Then one winter day in college, I woke up and fell flat on my face. I proceeded to have trouble walking and standing the rest of the day until suddenly I couldn’t use my legs anymore. I was hospitalized and my doctors ran numerous tests before confirming what seemed obvious to my family: I had MS. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on 2/2/2000.
I’ve been prescribed numerous treatments since that day: Avonex, Copaxone, Avonex and Copaxone at the same, just diet and exercise, medical marijuana, and Tysabri. Prior to the Tysabri, I began transitioning into Secondary-Progressive MS. Luckily, that has been halted at the moment, but I still deal with all the damage done in previous years. Recently, I was forced onto permanent disability because of my issues, which include severe pain, numbness, weakness, blurry vision, fatigue, and a massive list of cognitive issues.
It’s been an interesting transition these past 16 years as MS has molded the life I currently have. I originally hail from New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. I have since spent time in Philadelphia and San Francisco. I now live in the southern Delaware region, near the beach, with my amazing wife Aimee and our dog Penny. No longer able to work in my career field as a software engineer, I now write about MS and sell vintage toys on the internet.
MS has had a profound impact on my life; however, it hasn’t all been negative. My experiences with MS have given me a keen sense of appreciation and a unique outlook on life. I am hoping to share these with more people and continue to help spread knowledge about my disease.
Click here to read all of Devin’s articles on MultipleSclerosis.net.