Question: What do/did the people below all have in common?
|Montel Williams, Ann Romney, Jack Osbourne, Dana King (my mom), and me.|
Answer: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Yep. I officially belong to the club. :)
I don't think I'm going to write my diagnosis story quite yet, but here are a few details:
- I was diagnosed about 3 months ago.
- My chances of getting it were only 2%.
- I went in because I was having double vision when I would look to the very far right.
- I had to stay in the hospital for 3 days to receive an IV steroid treatment.
- The steroids give you a horrible taste in your mouth.
- Had I known that when I went in for my double vision, I would be diagnosed with a disease AND have to stay for 3 days, I would have:
- Brought my husband
- Brought a tooth brush and other toiletries.
- Brought my phone charger
- Brought pajama's.
- Because my mom had it and now I have it, my girls chances of getting it is 8%. Yes, that breaks my heart.
- I can still have more children. I didn't think I wanted to but Heavenly Father told me differently. What does He know? ;)
- My MS is "aggressive". Whatever that means.
- With MS, you get lesions on your brain and spinal cord. I have 30ish lesions on my brain and 1 on my spinal cord, but you would never know it. It all depends on where you get that lesion. For example, someone could have 1 lesion in the wrong spot and be completely disabled. Weird, right?
- Based on my MRI scans, they think I have had it for at least 2-3 years, but thinking back I think its probably at least 4-5 years.
- I have actually felt healthier than I have my whole life so if it weren't for the double vision, I would have had NO idea.
- At first I was devastated and scared, then I was angry, then devastated again, completely humbled, and then overall, extremely grateful. With all my crazy lesions, I really feel like Heavenly Father has definitely been watching over and protecting me.
- I'm taking a medication where I have to give myself a shot 3 times a week. Nate helps me when I need him to. Side effects are bruising or "injection site reactions", and sometimes I feel really achy when I wake up.
- Nate has been a m a z i n g throughout this whole thing.
- Both mine and Nate's sides of the family have been extremely supportive.
- And friends of ours have also been very supportive.
- We feel so, so blessed.
- We had to leave Nate's internship with Amazon early so we could start treatment back here in Durham. Amazon was so awesome and understanding with the whole thing.
- At first, it was devastating and I wanted to wrap my head around the whole thing before it became public knowledge.
- My mom battled MS for 22 years, had such a severe case of it, and died about 1.5 years ago. I felt like that was going to be me but I didn't want others thinking that I was just following in the same path as my mom and that I would be dead in 22 years.
- I didn't want my MS to be a label. I'm realizing now that it will always be one of my labels, but it doesn't have to be the label that defines who I am.
- I wanted people to see me and know me for ME, and not my disease.
- I didn't really feel like people needed to know. I still sort of feel that way.
- I didn't want people treating me differently. I still don't want that.
- I sort of felt bad "ruining" people's day with the news.
- I feel comfortable with where I am at mentally and emotionally with my diagnosis.
- I am not afraid anymore. Worried about the future (mostly for my family), sure, but not afraid.
- Family and some close friends know, but it was getting to become an unnecessary chore to "contain" the secret and make sure no one was letting it slip. It just caused a lot of unnecessary stress.
- Writing is therapeutic for me and there have been several times when I have felt like I wanted to write about some of the experiences I have had, but couldn't because I hadn't gone public with my diagnosis.
Side note: I am a HUGE Ann Romney fan and feel like I can relate to her very much now. Some people have suggested that I find out what she does for treatment and maintaing her MS. But I sort of feel she has better things to do, haha.
I am pretty open and comfortable talking about all of this so feel free to ask questions if you'd like. You probably won't find me talking about it very much on Facebook or anything but I'll probably blog about different things here or there. I'll write my diagnosis story in the near future, too.
I am prideful and say I feel fine. And I actually do feel fine. I have to keep reminding myself that I have an aggressive disease and that I need to take it easy and take care of myself. It's just hard when you feel so good.
Thank you for your prayers, love and support.