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Name: Allison Liccardi
Location: Missouri, USA
How long with MS: 3 years
Year DX: October 2008
Type of MS: RRMS
Imagine walking on a dirt road with all of these trees, diabolical looking trees, slowly guiding you and hiding your path. Every 1/4 of a mile you are having to get up out of the dirt for you have ran into one of them. With this collision brings more than anxiety and thoughts deeper than what the brain has been able to bare.
I have concluded it as a tour through hell. A small tasted tour of course and yet still a glimpse. These trees are what I have come to know as Multiple Sclerosis and trauma; the path? Simply hope.
I was greeted with Multiple Sclerosis three years a go and yet my actual diagnosis was in October of 2008. I had been told that I had RRMS and yet I have an all day (sedated) MRI this coming Friday; for a neurologist out of New York seems to believe that I have Primary Progressive M.S. and yet after years of aimless anxiety filled study I believe (and greatly hope) that she has been mistaken.
I am 26 years old and a single mother. I believe that Multiple Sclerosis is caused by trauma milked with a lack of Vitamin D, seduced by uncontrollable sickness as a child, and topped with poverty stricken poor eating habits one has to succumb. It was around 2007 I believe and my father and I were joking within bouts of my immense frustration as I tried to watch a television program with him. I was squinting and compulsively blinking as everything seemed blurry and EXTREMELY too bright.
I made an appointment to meet with an optometrist in Republic Missouri and he told me that I had a horrible astigmatism in my right eye and my left eye was a little off and so I felt relieved that I could have the pressure taken off of my eyes with this sexy pair of black 'cat eye' glasses. I was feeling them too, lol. I remember thinking that I was the stuff. :-)
Then I went to Price Cutter in Republic, I would say around three months later, and I noticed that my knees kept buckling and I felt very weak and my eyes they could not handle these VICIOUS fluorescent lights, good geesh, when did they get so nasty and bright? I kept holding on to the edges of all of the isles so that I wouldn't pass out from the murderous lights.
I get to the canned food isle and as I look for the tomato sauce I notice I can not read ANYTHING on the cans, everything had begun to run together. I could not tell orange from blue....everything appeared as a yellowish-green, even the tomato sauce that I never did find. I rush home and as I come to a red light I see four of them and they began to spin sooo fast.
My chest, I can not control my chest, I must be having a heart attack and I rush to the eye doctor, again. They make an appointment for me and when I go in he does the exact same exam and procedure.
"Oh my God, Allison you have 20/60 vision in your right eye and are legally blind in your left."
What is he talking about? I have had 20/20 vision all of my life and yet I still accept the thick glasses after dilation of my pupils. I leave with a little better vision and after about 2 months my vision is better and when I get tested it is 20/20 again. He looked at me as if he were either perplexed or offended.
I went about my business knowing that something was awfully wrong. Cancer? My Grandfather, Grandmother, Auntie, and cousin all died of brain cancer (all originating in different places). I was so tired all of the time, I am talking horribly tired and yet I am a single mom with NO family that is readily available (although they would be if possible and my father still contributes in at least comfort almost daily).
I was behind on my day care expenses while calling in almost 3 times a week because I felt so off, I call it a foggy brain, resembling drug use without drugs. (I now believe it is the symptom that is labeled brain fog; coincidence)? I decide to work off my debt and while getting ready my neck snaps, in a motion resembling my chin 'involuntarily' slamming into my chest. I begin to black out 5-10 times an hour and after seven days of this I went up to Family Medical in Republic and they told me that I was working with hyperglycemia.
Here I am, by doctors suggestion, eating a pack of crackers every two hours and consuming around 6 liters of water a day. But it gets worse, now, after donating plasma I have begun to fully pass out. I call doctor after doctor and go to all three hospitals in Springfield and NOBODY has an answer.
While working for a Law Firm in Springfield, the black-outs begin to progress and everybody was noticing and yet I believe there was something in them that assumed I was lit. The attorney that I was working for said,
"Allison! Go to the hospital or I am getting you a pretty little helmet."
I went to St. John's and after numerous blood tests and exams by 5 E.R. doctors, one comes into the room. He tells me that it makes no sense as to why I would be blacking out so much and losing my vision mixed with all of this fatigue. Which sounds crazy to me now because I am thinking, I would have guessed Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis if not Cancer right off of the bat. He said that the only thing that he can imagine is a brain tumor and tears race down my face.
After a FRIGHTENING experience inside of an M.R.I. for 45 minutes he comes back into my room and said,
"Well, I have great news and horrible news. First you don't have a brain tumor and yet you do have Multiple Sclerosis."
He told me that I had a terrifying number of lacerations, scars, and plaque; most images being active in the occipital portion of my brain. I can not remember everything but I do remember screaming and saying a very ignorant statement about wishing it were Cancer because my ignorance told me that I could be free of Cancer and M.S. would kill me. WHICH IS SOOO FAR FROM THE TRUTH!!!
I have numerous poems and am writing a novel right now about my experience and I just now have begun to deal with the fear. She said, "NO CAFFEINE!!!" I was drinking two POTS of coffee at work a day to cover the fatigue, which never worked. My neurologist said, "QUIT SMOKING!!!!" I had worked my way up to one pack of Newports a day!! She also told me to take four naps a day and whatever I do I can not stress.
I simply cried, what else could I do? I have numerous stories and knowledge I want to share. If somebody listens I maybe could help and 'understanding' would finally close this jaded puzzle of confusion!!
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