Here’s a little story, my first, about something I would have done differently.
When am I going to get it?
First of all, my grandmother was diagnosed before I was born and lived 42 years with MS. Watching her I always had this weird thought - “When will I get it?” I remember thinking that first around 3 years old. I didn’t worry, just thought about it.
I was always athletic. I played hockey and baseball in leagues and about any other sport for fun. When I was around 30, I was having a hard time moving my legs from side to side as a shortstop on our softball team. I typically had never had an issue. It seemed little, and I was 30, so I wrote it off as getting older.
Make the doctors figure it out
Within a couple of years, I had my right leg go 100% numb. I wrote that off as a back issue and went to get checked out. My father gave me advice to “have the doctors tell you” that I have MS. In other words, don’t speak of what I think is going on. Make them “figure it out.”
He wanted the best for me but was afraid of the stigma that might follow me around for insurance purposes. He tried to help, I know this.
A couple numb legs later...
A few years later, a couple more numb legs later, things got really bad. At work, I was dragging a leg while walking, having dizzy feelings while looking up, and puking. Getting back on the forklift and going back to work was my norm. There were days the dizziness was so bad I wanted to drive into traffic and wreck my car just to get to the hospital.
Advocating for myself
After about 9 months of this, I said to myself, “Enough!” I went to my doctor who had tested my back, legs, and nerves and said, “Test me for MS.”
He stood back and said, “Why?”
I could now focus on healing
My long long story is to say this: you know your body better than anyone. If you keep coming back to MS, go talk to your doctor. If you are not happy with your doctor, go see another. Take your health seriously and GET ANSWERS!
The diagnosis alone made me feel better. Not because I was “right” but because I could now focus on healing.
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?