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MS is my disease -- not my Life

by Terri
(Tampa, FL)

Hello all. My name is Terri. I love this website. It has helped me a lot.

I began having symptoms of MS at age 27 right after the birth of my first child. I went to supposedly an "MS expert" who performed and MRI and said that the "bright spots" on my brain were normal. So, for years I went to doctor after doctor trying to figure out what the hell was wrong. I was told it was in my head.

Then I fell....then I fell again. My right foot would just stop. It was chalked up to neuropathy pain and the falling was a side effect. Finally, and I say finally because I finally got the answer I wanted...I lost vision in my left eye from optic neuritis. I was 35 and after an MRI, was finally diagnosed with MS by my neuro-ophthalmalogist.

I found a great neurologist and I have been seeing him ever since.

I did not initially deal with my diagnosis very well, mainly because if I had been properly diagnosed at 27, my level of disability might be less. I try not to focus on that and focus on the fact that I can still see, I can still walk and I can still play with my kids.

Working is hard because I relapse often and I miss work. Employers do not understand this and I've been fired often. I am a paralegal so this affects me negatively greatly and is my biggest obstacle. I've been treated poorly after disclosing my illness to supervisors, so I no longer do this. This is the part that infuriates me!! It's like I'm contagious or something.

Whenever I get down and feel ready to just give up because of the uncertainty of this disease, I turn to my wonderful husband who has been there through it all. You have to have someone remind you always that it is only a disease. It does not define me. It does not dictate how I decide to look at life. It does not win!!

Wishing lots of wellness and happiness to all!!


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Oct 21, 2009
I understand
by: Jane

Hi, Terri-I'm so glad you wrote your story and that you're doing better. I can honestly say that I related to everything you said. You've been brave and resilient, and that is what is needed in the face of this disease. Telling your story helps others do what they need to facing MS themselves. We are all in this together. This is such a good website that makes that point.

You're so right to try to bury the "what if's." It does no good to try and replay your life a different way; it only harms your peace of mind.

I hope to see you often here. I'd like to get to know you better.
Warmly, Jane D.

Oct 20, 2009
You are a winner!
by: Akrista

Hi Terri!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We are so happy that we have something to offer in this website.

We are really glad that you have your husband by your side to help you get through the not so good times. Family and friends are what mean the most to Cir and I. If it weren't for their support, living with multiple sclerosis would be unbearable.

It's great that you have found a neuro that knows what's going on. That makes things a lot easier. Also, knowing that MS doesn't define you, means you have definitely won the battle.

Thanks again for sharing!

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