New Diagnosis of Remitting/Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

I started experiencing numbness in my hands and then it went into my arms. I went to a physiotherapist thinking it was a pinched nerve in September 2014. Numbness increased in severity and physiotherapist said to me there is something horribly wrong with you, you have to go to the doctor and was then referred to a neurologist. This is how my journey started.

Two weeks later I was in hospital for 5 days of intravenous corticosteroids and tests. I was diagnosed with CIS (Clinically Isolated Syndrome, pre cursor to MS). When I saw the neurologist in February 2015 he said to me that if I had seen him a week later I would not be walking today. my symptoms started worsening, increased pain, fatigue, numbness, memory loss and emotional instability. I saw the neurologist in August and was back in hospital for 3 days for more steroids and tests, by mid October I started experiencing dizziness, by November I was back in hospital for 3 days more steroids and tests. A new lesion was found in my brain and was diagnosed with Remitting/Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.

I am now on daily injections of Copaxone. It has been an extremely tough journey thus far, however I have found that it has also given me more compassion and understanding for myself and others. It has made me more vulnerable and open by taking down my electric fence thus allowing others in. It has made me realize what true powerlessness is, as when I was first diagnosed I was unable to drive for 6 weeks, I could barely wash and feed myself. It has forced me to slow down which is a good thing as it makes more time for myself and my friends and godchild. I live independently with my 2 cats and am able to drive myself around. I am also doing a BAppSocSci degree which I love. I do however find it very difficult working full days due to the fatigue, pain and dizziness, however due to financial constraints I have no choice.

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I am a recovering addict and the 12 step program has given me the tools that assists me on this journey. Trusting and letting go, asking for help, when having a really bad day this too shall pass. It has also given me the perseverance and drive to push through. I go to a biokineticist twice a week to help strengthen my core, legs and arms and a physiotherapist once, sometimes twice a week for the pain. It is however difficult when my insides do not match my outsides. People always say I look good, while inside my body it reflects a completely different perspective. I go to a counsellor every 4 - 6 weeks and I have been put on anti-depressants, which does make a huge difference.

I am truly blessed and grateful for the support structure I have; neurologist, counsellor biokineticist, physiotherapist, friends and family; they have been amazing and so supportive, loving, understanding and caring. I do not know what I would have done without them and now support forums such as this one. Happy New Year to one and all.

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