Doing okay, really!

After an unspecified viral infection during college years, I pretty much returned to life as before, except becoming very tired during sport activities, working on family farm in summers, getting college requirements completed, etc. Once involved in teaching, marriage, motherhood, graduate work, and keeping a home, I had very little patience for the odd tingling, feelings of numbness, left leg that insisted on sleeping at the worst times, etc. By the time I had time to make an appt with the family doctors, get to the appt for testing, and then back to the doctors to discuss what was wrong, the odd symptoms had disappeared. They had written possible/probably MS in my records, but didn’t discuss the possibility with me.

Optic neuritis happened in 1992, but I was assured it was only optic neuritis, that I was one of the lucky ones not having MS. Fast forward to Christmas vacation 1999 having some difficulty with visual accuity, and having the eye doctor tell me my MS was the cause of the differences in color hues. What, I didn’t have MS, no one ever told me that, I’m not disabled, am I? Off to the merry-go-round of MRIs, neurologist appts, further testing, and sure enough, I had MS, and probably had it for decades. I was told it was the relapse/remission variety and platform drugs were discussed, one was chosen.

Zip 14 years forward, and I’m still doing okay, walking, talking, and doing most things I want to do. I’ve been giving myself the weekly Avonex shot since early 2000 and my MRIs remain good, no new defined lesions. I finished out the years leading to retirement from education, and now choose what I want to do each day, if the MS doesn’t interfere with my plans.

My spouse is great in taking care of things I can’t, yet he urges me to start things such as gardening, some lawn care, working with stained glass, meeting friends to eat, going on yarn expeditions, etc. I’ve probably contributed to his gray hair as he gives me independence but also the comnmitment that he will help if I’ve bitten off more than I should. My daughter had her first child this summer, a handsome grandson, in London where she and her husband live and work. My next goals will be to stick around for traveling to see the boy grow up.

A diagnosis of MS is not the end of the world. Nearing age 67, my life is full of good surprises. I use my cane if needed and plan to keep going as fast and as far as possible until I fall.

I will get up and continue onward, what else would be the point!

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