MS My Beginning, by Cheri Lee

It was the end of the summer 1997 and I thought I had the world by the seat of the pants. I was twenty-four years old and attending college, one class away from my AA Degree in Criminal Justice. I was working out at the gym three to four days a week, six months prior I had my second baby girl. I woke up one morning and the right side of my body was numb, I had no feeling at all. The left side was going paralyzed it felt like all my energy was being drained from my body. I took my two daughters to my parents and went to my neurologist where I had a Spinal Tap to confirm I had MS. I had MRI’s from previous years that said considering my age and reading the MRI MS was of consideration. Now with the Spinal Tap it was confirmed I have MS and I was given Avenox injections once a week. It was a year exactly and I had my first relapse, it was my neck if I leaned my head forward. It began in my fingers and traveled up my arm, sometimes both then down my torso and my legs and finally I collapsed on the floor and had some type of major all over Charlie Horse or muscle spasm. It looked like a seizure but the awful thing was it felt like electrical shocks going up my arms and down my body, I felt like I grabbed an electrical fence and my spine was feeling hundreds of volts of electrical shocks from my Cervical Vertebrae down my entire spine. These lasted any where from thirty seconds to five minutes. I can remember during an attack I said out loud “no matter what I will fight this thing with every last breath in my body”. Lhermitte’s sign is the name of that terrible MS symptom that took control over my body, my mom was at a prayer meeting when her friend mentioned that her granddaughter also had MS but was taking an injection called Betaseron. As soon as I heard that I was on the phone to my Neurologist because the steroids were not working and I wanted my life back. I got my insurance to cover the medicine and after two injections I was walking and no more electrical shocks. I had stopped going to the gym and to school but I could walk and I was doing so much better. I have two beautiful daughters and they are the reason I fight and what keeps me strong. I was strong before MS, the MS just made me stronger and more positive. My name is Cheri and this is the first story about my journey with MS.

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