I started having symptoms when I was almost 19. I was a freshman in college and had all my dreams laid out in front of me until the big diagnosis of MS came. My dr told me that he did not think I would walk by the time I was 30. I had already been accepted into the physician assistant program at Wake Forest Med Ctn of which I had to withdrawal before ever starting due to worsening of my MS symptoms. I was devastated when I had to leave school because I had dreamed of a college education ever since I was a little girl.
My disease has been on a rollercoaster for the past 10years. The older I get the harder it is to bounce back after a relapse and it seems that the relapses are move severe each time they hit. I am averaging a relapse about every 5-6 months for the past 2 1/2 years. I have alot of difficulty with tolerating the heat. My memory functions are not as sharp, there is some decrease in my cognitive functions, I have numbness and weakness primarily on my right side.
I think some of the hardest things about having MS is the lack of being able to plan, the fact that not only do I have to suffer, my family has to suffer also, not knowing from one day to the next what I am going to feel like, having people not understand that I feel bad just because I might look good, and the hardest thing to deal with is the ignorance of the public. I have learned to overcome alot of my MS battles but I couldnt have done this without my faith. God has shown me countless times that He is in control and that He does have a purpose for me and my life. I have been able to use my battle over and over again as a witness to others about just how awesome He can be. I might not like or agree with where my life is right now but I know He has me right where He wants me and He is using my and my illness everyday.
I have a wonderful husband who is very supportive of my MS. He told me one time that he had to love the MS b/c it was a part of me and that it was just one of the parts that he has to accept. I have two sons, ages 22 & 14. They are my reason for living and fighting everyday. I feel bad that they have to miss out of things b/c of me but they are very understanding and we all fight this disease as a family and take one day at a time appreciating all that they day might bring. I have since gone back to school and finished my BS degree. It was a bittersweet day for me b/c it was a goal that I felt that the MS had taken and that I would never achieve. I would love to attend grad school but for now my health isnt where I can look at that option.
My disability was finally approved 2 1/2 years ago after a five year fight. We lost our house and were so far in debt that the back pay was almost gone after we paid of thousands of health bills and our credit is ruined for atleast another 3 years. We were living in NY for 5 years but my husbands job brought us back to NC last July. My oldest son who is 22 is in his last year of nursing school and my 14 year old is finishing up his last few weeks of middle school and will be headed to high school in the fall. He has had a much harder time with growing up with the MS than Colby did but my disease is much worse than it was during Colbys teenage years.
I'm tired of fighting this disease but I do it because I am no quiter and I can't give up because I want to watch my boys continue to grow and see who and what they become.