by Tammie Lawrence
I am fairly new to living with MS, I was diagnosed May 13th, 2009. I feel fortunate in that my diagnosis came fairly quick. In March of last year, I woke up on a Friday with very slurred speech, (my husband said I sounded like I was drunk), which continued through the weekend. On Monday I decided something was definitely wrong and maybe I had had a stroke. My GP also believed that it may be a stroke.
My blood pressure was extremely high which was very unusual for me. I was given two kinds of blood pressure medicine and over the next few days my BP and speech returned to normal. In the meantime, my GP scheduled me for all kinds of tests including an MRI. They set up an appointment for me with a neurologist but my husband and I were leaving for our vacation so I wouldn't see her until I returned. All the time we were thinking it was definitely a stroke and were just preparing to find out what changes I needed to make to avoid another one.
Wow! We were shocked when we went in for our appointment! I can still remember the feeling of the floor falling out from under us when she announced she was 90% sure it was MS. I only had 2 lesions on my brain and to be 100% sure, she ordered more tests and a spinal tap. We were in a fog as we left her office, and I broke down and cried. I had always been so thankful that I was
healthy, rarely sick. But I went home, cried some more and then dragged myself back to my typical positive attitude.
I learned everything I could about MS and started looking at treatment options. What would be the best one for me? As expected, the tests results eliminated everything else. I had MS. By this time, we had decided my course of treatment, and our neurologist agreed. Everyone is different, but for me, it appeared that my MS was in the very early stages and I wanted the treatment with the very least side affects.
We chose the daily injection of Copaxone. Except for a few minor injection site issues, knock on wood, I have had no other side affects. My symptoms are mild, and I am still discovering what those are, like blurry vision, some fatigue, mild balance issues, leg cramps lately and numbness and tingling especially in the front of my legs.
I am almost 50 years old, I have a loving supportive husband, grown children, grandchildren and a very spoiled dog. :) I work full time, teach Sunday school and truly count my blessings everyday. It could be so much worse. I am hoping to find an avenue this year so that I might be an encouragement to others.
I felt like I should at least have 1 year of living with the MS challenge under my belt first. What have I learned? Well, I am still learning, but it has taught me even more to appreciate every moment and take nothing for granted and ALWAYS try and turn the lemons into lemonade.