Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How it all started . . .

I guess it was around Christmas, I noticed my toes kind of went numb and it traveled up my legs. This had happened in the past so I didn't really take too much notice. As the days went on though it kept getting worse, I had a tightening around my midsection and then some problems with balance. As we drove home from Christmas I developed a limp. It only lasted for two days but worried me enough that I decided to call my doctor. I got an appointment for Monday, December 31 and decided to keep the appointment even though I was walking better by then.

The doctor wasn't my usual doctor (who I had only met once) but she listened to my symptoms, took my history (dad with ms), and noticed that one leg was weaker. She suggested I get an MRI. So I scheduled that for January 4--great way to start the new year! I didn't really get a chance to ask what she thought could be causing all this, she kind of just left the room and I had all these questions in my mind. I was kind of hoping it was something to do with my back which had been bothering me. Maybe a pinched nerve.

I had a really extensive MRI done on my head and spine. I turned down doing it with contrasting agent because then I would have to stop breastfeeding for 24 hours. The doctor called me the following Monday--as I was eating dinner at work--to tell me that it looked as if I had MS.

I felt like the world had collapsed. But I composed myself and finished working for 3 more hours by myself--mostly I read online about MS. I didn't call Dennis because I knew I couldn't make it through the night or the drive home if he knew. I somehow didn't want to tell him because I knew it would change our lives and once he knew he couldn't unknow it, just like I couldn't.

My family came for Dominick's birthday on the weekend. It was so great to have their support. My parents have been dealing with MS for 15 years or so. My brother and his wife were also dealing with uncertain medical stuff--which so thankfully turned out ok but that weekend we were all in this same uncertain, scared, confused boat. Felt good not to be alone.

I finally jumped through what felt like lots of hoops but got an appointment with a neurologist who specialized in MS and could see me January 21. My doctor recommended the Waddell center which is connected with University of Cincinnati. They had many more hoops to jump through and after overnighting films and talking to it felt like lots of people I got an appointment there for February 14. It is just so hard when starting out with doctors, I hate all the hurdles which they throw at you when you can handle them the least. Or maybe it's all part of the plan because you just get mad dealing with the bureaucracy and you don't have the time to think about the other bigger things.

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