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When MS knocks at your door

by Maya
(Jordan)

Life comes with many opportunities, it all depends on one’s choice on how to design or weave it. You either choose to fight or surrender, this is a story of both the phases of my life. I happen to be a strong-headed member of my family, youngest of all and ever-adventurous while dealing with life.

I would like you to travel back a little with me, to get a better picture of my journey with the diagnosis of MS. The first haul I had, was almost a year and a half ago when I was at an airport for a layover and quite excited to get into the next flight to see my newly-wed husband. That’s the time I had a first attack of MS (while being completely ignorant about it, till my diagnosis).

I used to have backache before, intermittently, but never on a serious scale. I sadly happened to fall-got hurt-missed my flight while being alone in a new country, also alien to the native language. Cut the story short, I reached my destination and decided to take my condition seriously.

Here, I would want the readers to understand the vague description of this disease, it is stated, ‘Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body’.

The symptoms are even more opaque, they include; fatigue, weakness, headaches numbness or tingling in your body (it can be in any part), spasticity or stiffness, bladder problems, bowel problems, cognitive changes, pain & itching, low energy level, mood tantrums, and depression.

The funny thing about all these symptoms is that they can show up simultaneously or individually also all these can very much possibly refer to some other physical disorder as well. That being said, I also had to go through a lot in the process of valid and correct diagnosis, therefore, I want other people to take their condition seriously if ever they come across any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Like any naïve person, I thought the backache symptom is the key thing to be taken seriously, so I visited one after another orthopedics and it was safely considered as nerve compression or pinched nerve because in that condition you also have the same symptoms. Unfortunately, quite a less number of doctors knew about MS in my country, its existence, and the available treatment.

I was given an extensive amount of medicines, including painkillers and muscle relaxant pills. The doctor then referred me to a chiropractor, they deal with issues

of misalignment of vertebrae and discs in our backbone. This is very much helpful in treating the problem of nerve compression, the sessions with the chiropractor did help me in subsiding the continuous pain in my lower back and legs.

Meanwhile, I could never get rid of the ever-present fatigue and ever-worsening depression, with a few episodes of getting hurt by a sudden fall at various places because I was losing control of my lower limb.

With my condition getting worse and disappointed with no positive effect of the medicines, one of the orthopedic advised to go for an MRI, it was the first-ever thought that all this condition could be related to the brain. I went for an MRI, the images confirmed the presence of lesions in my brain.

A brain lesion may involve small to large areas of your brain. MRI scans can detect those lesions and damage in the central nervous system, I had a few small lesions in my brain and doctor referred to them as MS attacks. This revelation led me to extreme depression and I simply refused to believe. On the safer side, I ran to a couple of other neurologists for a second and third opinion and all of them confirmed the same.

A misfortune associated with MS is its recent detection and quite a less number of researches available for this disease. This is contrary to any other medical issues as we are still on the path of research for the cure and fundamental causes of this disease. So the next thing was to move towards the treatment and sadly we only have DMDs (Disease Modifying Drug) available which merely delay the process and save the patient from further damage.

I read a lot and came to know that all the MS medication comes with a handsome bunch of side effects which sometimes are more in number than the benefit, so it has been hard for me to decide on which path to take. I have started my journey and hoping to conquer it soon.

One key point to remember for MSers is to avoid depression and pessimism as it only contributes to making our condition worse. If I talk about myself, it took me time to accept it but when I did-I tried to wipe out all the negative thoughts from my mind. Plus the family and friends play a big role in this and I am blessed to have a support system around me.

I am currently on my way to save myself from further attacks/damage and yes I AM A WARRIOR! 

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