I was diagnosed in Sept 2006 but had been having issues for about a year before that. I had broken my T-12 in May 2004 and began having problems shortly thereafter. I began Avonex treatments in Dec 2007 but had a heart attack on Jan 11 2008 then a quadroplue bypass a week later. I was told to stop the Avonex after the operation and was off it for 2 weeks during which time my symptoms got worse to the point where currently I struggle with balance and strength in my right leg. I am very open about my illness and enjoy speaking to others about their experiences. Thank you for this forum.
OK I think I will give this long bio a shot. I might update it a few times as my memory seems to fail me every so often.
This strange journey began on Mother's day 2004 (which is in May). My girlfriend and I moved to the city of London Ontario from our nice little farm in Zurich ON. I had gone back to school and found the 250km drive each day was taking it's toll on me. On our first day in our new house, I climbed up on the roof to install our satellite dish. Long story short, I took a 12 foot fall and fractured my T-12 vertabre.
I was sent home from hospital the same day and went to school the next day as I didn't want to fall behind. Fast forward to one year later...we went to Las Vegas for a vacation. While in Vegas I started to experience tingling in my lower legs. I assumed this was something to do with my broken back and did not panic although I was in extreme pain the whole time.
Once we got home I set up an appointment with my GP. After a series of tests all doctors were perplexed as my symptoms did not macth my fracture. The tingling went too far up my body to be explained by my broken back. Also I could not feel my feet for the most part which again they didn't think could be caused by my fracture. It seemed we had hit a wall.
During a visit with my GP a few months later he threw out this question..."are there any neurological disorders in your family?" I wave of fear came over me but just for a second as I replied "yes, MS". I have an aunt and uncle on my mother's side (my uncle passed away at age 59 a few years ago), my first cousin, and a cousin twice removed all with MS. He set me up for a neurological exam right away.
I went through all the standard tests including an MRI and Lumbar puncture...the rest, as they say, is history. I was not handed the final dx until Sept of 2006.
In 2007 I had a couple relapses that were bad. I was having such a hard time coping and getting no answers from my doctors. I was certain my problems were being brought on by the stress caused by my employment that I chose to quit to find another job. Unfortunately the day after I left my job my symptoms became much worse...I know how that must sound but that is exactly how it happened. I could not believe my bad luck.
I had a lot going on in my personal life and in Jan 2008 I suffered a mild heart attack and it was discovered that I had acute coranary artery disease and needed a quad bypass. I had the sugery and left the hospital Jan 18, 2008. The surgery made the MS much worse for a while but it seems to be settling down now as of March 3, 2008.
I am on disability now (or at least waiting to see if I will get it) and I am obbsessed with learning more about my illnesses and how best to extend my life and improve the quality of my life as well.
I try not to complain as I am aware many on here and elsewhere are much worse off than I.
My family and friends are nothing short of amazing. They all support me in everything I do and friends are always there to help out when needed. My fiance is also a very supportive person, although we have rough times. She is as healthy as a horse as they say and someimes I feel so bad that her life has to be affected by this crappy disease. We go through some bad times but always end up letting each other know how much we love the other...I am lucky to have her and look forward to one day making her my wife.
That's it for now...if you would like to know more or just want to chat me up, feel free to drop me a line; I'm always around.
Keep positive and never stop fighting.
Update: Dec 2009.
My Fiance was just diagnosed with ms last week! Unreal or what? We are both doing good right now and are hopeful Dr. Zamboni's work will lead to a better treatment for us all!