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I was 17

It was the second day of my senior year in high school when I really told anyone what was going on. About a week before I had woke up at my friends house with double vision. I honestly thought it was from our shinanagins the night before, took me three days to tell my mom. She didn’t think much of it, we didn’t know I had MS, we would find out in four days.
Four days later it was my second day back to school. Four years before that, not to the day, I was hit by a car. Broke both my arms and legs and now have titanium rods in those limbs. So all my numbness after the accident was attributed to that. 

Until, I was 17.
I was in my photography class, my favorite class, obsession, and part time profession. The double vision was now paired with the entire left side of my body and face going numb. My friend in class walked me up to the nurses office. My eyes were visibly crossed, myself and everyone else started to realize it was probably a big deal. Once I got to the nurse’s office and told her what had been happening and for how long she immediately called my mom and told her to pick me up and take me to a doctor, she was there in twenty minutes.

First we went to a walk in clinic. We checked in, wrote down what was happening and waited to be called back. Once we were in the exam room they asked me a few questions then had my mom leave the room. They proceeded to ask me if I had used meth or  cocaine recently because it would cause these symptoms. I was pretty pissed off that they did that, made me feel like I wasn’t being taken seriously. They brought my mom back in and did some pushing and pulling tests with my hands and feet. They also had me walk back and forth in the room. Then they left me and my mom in the room confused.

When they came back in the words were quick, they said I had to go to an MRI clinic in Everett. Id never had an MRI before, so I was honestly kind of excited. I got the MRI done within two hours of leaving the clinic. I got the MRI and remember being kind of upset they wouldn’t let me look at it, well try to look at it. We sat in the front area of the office for a long time then the doctor took us into a weird little room, it wasn’t an exam room. All that was in it was two chairs at a table with a phone on it some magazines then in the corner was a little kuregg coffee maker thing. Some lady came into the little room and was talking about how my MRI images were sent to children’s hospital in Seattle and thats why we had to wait so long. Then the phone rang and she answered then gave it to my mom. Then my mom listened and got off the phone. Then they both turned to me and the lady said ‘your MRI shows a lot if grey matter, could be multiple sclerosis, that’s why we sent it to Children’s.’

I didnt even want to know what MS was. The lady told my mom, to be expecting a call from children’s telling us to come in. On our drive home I looked up multiple sclerosis and decided I was totally screwed because the symptoms listed were so spot on. Children’s called and we went in. They informed me that I was going to be getting a spinal tap. I didn’t really know what that was, sounded cool though… The first one I had no pain killing anything and it didn’t work. The second one I took some pill they offered me and that mad me a little out of it, that tap didn’t work. They went on to do two more that night then stop and say lets wait till tomorrow and do it under an X-xray….. and its been set in stone since the fifth spinal tap when, I was 17.

I’m 19 writing this.

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


  • Gabby Wilson
    6 years ago

    I was diagnosed at 13 but like you I’m 19 now. Double vision is what struck me first too, I thought it had something to do with the weather for some odd reason. When they did the spinal tap on me…like 7 times by the hundredth or so I needed to be knocked out or something. It’s a relief knowing there’s more people my age out there. I too love photography and start college in the spring for it. I hope all is well for you and that you don’t have to deal with those god awful shots like I had to. There are some great oral treatments available *cough* Tecfidera *cough* that you could decide from. I hope you have a great day!

  • Gabby Wilson
    6 years ago

    Yeah, I stuck with Rebif until it didn’t work anymore and it tore up my arms and stuff. I don’t have any type of insurance and the Tecifedera people send me it for free, I just had to apply first to see if I qualifid for their benefit program thing. If you can, mention Tecfidera to your doctors and see if it’s a good match for you. When I switched to the oral it changed my life for the better.

  • babyfirefly author
    6 years ago

    Ive been wanting an oral one I had used rebiff but the gave up on it because of the side effectes and pain of the shot.

  • Lexine Darden
    6 years ago

    After just reading your post I’m sitting here at age 55 diagnosed confirmed at 40, wondering how I would have reacted to my diagnosis at 17.
    I want you to know it’s a journey this MS thing. It does not and will not define who you are and are yet to become if you do not allow it to, although it affects your life experiences and viewpoints. Remain the interesting and unique person you were before your diagnosis and still are today. Be a keeper of your interests and passions old and new.
    You are a remarkable young woman.

    Strength and Peace,


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