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The Day I Met MS

Something about taking my clothes off that cool November night inspired me to run my fingers alongside the left side of my body, to affirm the seductive curve of my shape. As my fingers began to caress my waist, I noticed it felt numb. I thought to myself, “That’s weird”, as I continued to rub the area. Too sleepy to worry, I tossed concern aside and nestled under the covers thinking it would go away by the morning.

My bladder woke me up just before the alarm went off the next morning and I begrudgingly got out of bed to go the bathroom. I took exactly two steps before noticing something was terribly wrong. I used my right hand to hold me up against the bedroom doorknob as I put my weight on my right foot. I looked down at my left side, as if “the look” would make it act right, but my left side was oblivious to the world. From the bottom of my foot to my shoulder, my entire left side was completely numb; heavy, cement-like numb.

A day later I found myself in the emergency room being admitted into the hospital. I was confused in the amused sense, thinking I’d get a little action but in the end it would go away and be nothing serious. After a battery of tests, they ruled out a stroke. Good answer, I thought. They later identified an inflammation in the neck of my spine and began a 5 day intravenous steroid treatment. Weird, I thought, as I had never been in the hospital for that long. Still, I wanted to believe that it was as simple as a steroid treatment and I’d be back to normal, and to life as I know it. When the neurologist on duty stated she wanted to run some more tests to “see what there is to know”, I got a little anxious. After another battery of tests, lab work, MRIs and spinal tap, I discovered why curiosity killed the cat.

My family had just left from visiting for the day and I was sitting alone in the hospital room when she walked in with her diagnosis. My mind went blank for a few seconds, and when it came back, I was alone in the room again but with what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders. All I could do was cry, deeply, engulfed by this overwhelming feeling of betrayal, and of being alone. But I wasn’t alone. Multiple Sclerosis had taken up residence in my otherwise healthy body, and from that day forward, my life has never been the same.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Julie
    2 years ago

    Thank you for your story. It could have been mine except it’s my left side that has been affected. I remember one day bending down to touch the carpet because it felt wet when I was walking on it. It was dry but my foot kept telling me it was wet.

    What a strange life we live now!! It’s a circus every day, never knowing what to expect from our bodies. It’s changed my life in more ways than I can write here but we are strong people and continue to adapt to the new lifestyle that is forced on us.

    Good health to all!

  • Carlita Coley author
    2 years ago

    Hi Julie. What a strange life indeed. These past 7 months have been the weirdest, most physically difficult time of my life but I’m finally learning to accept and adapt to this new normal.

  • Drew Swan
    2 years ago

    Carlita, thanks for sharing! You are great at writing and hope to read more from you:) I was really pulled into your world and felt a lot of what I went through coming to mind… is it just me but does it feel super weird when the sides of your body are numb and you poke the skin in that area?! Glad I found your story and don’t ever stop the fighting, and keep positive

    -::Drew::-

  • Carlita Coley author
    2 years ago

    Thanks Drew! I do plan on writing more, as I’ve found doing so very therapeutic. I really appreciate your compliments.

  • potter
    2 years ago

    I had symptoms off and on for 10 years and my GP kept telling me I didn’t need to be tested for MS. (Family history of MS) He finally sent me to a neurologist, arm wasn’t working properly and felt like it had electricity running through it. He thought I had damaged my elbow on my potters wheel. My neuro read my family history and he said it may be your elbow but I am also testing you for MS. My neuro called me a home to tell me the bad news, I cried for two weeks and then decided it was time fight MS for my life. Potter

  • Carlita Coley author
    2 years ago

    I cried for a couple of weeks too. I think I went through all of the stages of grief a couple of times before I landed on acceptance. The survivor in me is determined to keep pushing.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Wow, Carlita, what a softly, powerful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please do know, that you aren’t ever alone, you have your family and you have us, another part of your village. Please don’t hesitate to reach out whenever you need us. We’ll be here. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • Carlita Coley author
    2 years ago

    Thank you Donna. I know I am not alone and I am grateful for that.

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