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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index

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Oct 28, 2006
Hi. I'm Grits216 (Girl Raised in the South), a newbie to this site, but not to MS. I'm a former special education teacher, presently "disabled", and far too young to be retired. Happened on Healthboards while surfing - seemed like a good place to ask questions, read about others' experiences with the MonSter, gain insight on how others live and deal with the disease daily. I was also looking for an outlet, other than family and friends, where it was safe to vent frustrations and from time to time, simply sit on the "pity pot". MS was suspected in '93. I was too busy living, working and raising two young children to follow MD's instructions to have subsequent yearly MRI's. Ignored many symptoms over the years - blamed them on pinched nerves, clumsiness, stress and just plain "getting older". In April of 2000, I woke up to complete numbness on my right side. Within hours, I could no longer hold the pen to sign my name or even lift my right foot to walk. Decided it was time to get this "pinched nerve" checked out. Went to Urgent Care and that doc quickly summoned an ambulance for a not so free ride to the hospital which was a mere block away. Completely oblivious - I had no idea what all the muss and fuss was about. I was seen by an ER doc almost immediately after arriving at the hospital. That is virtually unheard of if anyone is familiar with Greater Phoenix area hospitals. It finally dawned on me that this might be more than a "pinched nerve" and "they" were whispering "stroke" while running a multitude of tests and asking even more questions. Finally, after a few hours, the on-call neuro with CAT scan results in hand, came to deliver the news. A brilliant man, but lacking bedside manner, declared very matter-of-factly, "You didn't have a stroke. You either have a brain tumor or MS." Believe it or not, the first thought that came to mind was - does that mean I'm one of "Jerry's Kids"? Talk about ignorant! More tests and a MRI verified MS. After solumedrol, a week in telemetry(sp), PT and OT, I made it home. I had to relearn how to walk, write, and feed myself and listen to my kids say, "Mom, use your right hand." Then I had to learn about the MonSter. I was able to return to teaching full-time and continued until last spring. I was okay as long as I stayed on Avonex, along with a long list of additional meds. For me, the worst part of having MS was the utter exhaustion and pain in my feet and legs. Then last spring I was in a fender-bender, totaled my car and had back to back exacerbations, including my first real bout with optic neuritis. Solumedrol helped, but not to the point of remission, not this time. The MonSter decided to progress and my MD and neuro agreed that it was probably time to apply for disability. I/we did and I've been on full disability since last September. That's my story - the moral is - Don't Ignore Your Symptoms. Does anyone know anything about service/companion dogs? I can still walk, but balance is another story - I take a lot of falls and have even walked into walls (hey, that rhymes) .

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