Is MS catching up with me?
I was diagnosed with MS in 1973 right after I turned 24. Back then there was little talk of various kinds of MS. I simply knew that some people were completely disabled by the disease and some were not.
As it turned out, I knew a number of people who had MS. (The woman who lived next door to my parents has MS. Her case seemed to be serious but not totally debilitating. A girl I went to school with had a very serious case and died from complications in her 40's.) I was affected by my symptoms: numbness, MS hug, blurred vision, clumsiness in walking and some numbness in my arms and hands that caused me never to volunteer to carry the good china. However, I was not disabled and my wife and I went on with our lives. We bought a house, had two kids and I advanced in my career as an educator.
I taught English for 16 years, became an assistant principal, then middle school principal with occasional exacerbations slowing me down and sometimes requiring rounds of steroids.
In 1997 I became a high school principal, possibly right behind air traffic controller for high stress job. I lasted three years, all of them laden with symptoms, but I pushed on and got treatment when I "needed" it.
I left public education in 2000 to take a job with a not-for-profit in education. Now in my 12th year in my second career, I've had a major exacerbation. Again with steroids this time by infusion, most of my symptoms have receded.
My vision however, (right eye) is effected and I have a nearly constant ringing in one or both ears. I continue to have numbness in my hands and feet but it isn't debilitating. I don't want to sound ungrateful for the unbelievably mild course that my MS has taken, but I have to wonder if my MS is catching up with me. Are there specific vision related therapies that I should be seeking?
Does anyone have a similar story? I've met a few people along the way who like me have no discernible signs of having an illness, but I don't know how common our path is.
I also wonder if I can be helpful to others with MS. Once I was called upon to talk to another teacher who had just been diagnosed, but I was very conscious that my case was not "severe" and I worried that I might paint a picture that was not accurate.
Ok the English teacher says I'm rambling and need to stop writing, but having never shared all of this in writing and never to strangers, I couldn't stop once I started.
How many specialists did you see before finding "The One"?