Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My MS Diagnosis Timeline

I know many people suffer not knowing what is wrong with them for a long time before they are diagnosed. That wasn't the case for me at all.

My MS Diagnosis Timeline
  1. November 2008: Pins & needles over my entire left leg. This was diagnosed as sciatic nerve problems. (It may have been sciatic nerves problems that went away in a few weeks with Aleve or looking back, it could have been my first symptom of MS.)
  2. May 2009: Pins & needles over my entire left leg along with vision problems. My vision was blurry, and just not right, so I went to my primary care physician. This is where is all got messed up. As I was sitting in the doctor's office alone - my wife was at work because we didn't expect anything like this to happen. The doctor came in and said she thinks it could be optic neuritis and that I most likely have MS. I was floored. I didn't really know what MS was at that point. I remember that while she was setting me up with an eye doctor for a second opinion I texted my wife the "diagnosis". When I got out to my car, and collected myself, I called my wife. That was a shitty phone call. I was scared to my wits end, as I am sure my wife was too. She came home early that day to be with me, and we started the journey together. But not before I went to the eye doctor. My primary doctor set me up with an immediate appointment and they saw me right when I arrived a few minutes later. At diagnosis my correct vision in my left eye was 20/100 with blurred vision, and color blind. I went on 3 days of IV steroids followed by 14 days of oral steroids and my vision returned in less than a week.He confirmed the optic neuritis, and referred me to a MS doctor. Neither my wife or I knew anything about MS, but boy did we learn fast when we both got home.
  3. May 2009: I had several MRI’s which confirmed that I had lesions on my brain and spinal column. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
  4. September 2009: I started my daily injections of Copaxone, a MS drug. I've been on them ever since!
  5. March 2010: MRI confirmed several things: 1. The most important thing was that the medication was working as it had prevented the formation of new lesions after the initial 3 month period it takes to work. 2. During that initial 3 month period I developed several new lesions which indicated that I had an aggressive form of MS before treatment, making it important that I continue the medication.
  6. March 2010: Started physical therapy (PT) to help with my balance and my ability to walk.
Since then, I have improved my balance, and I don't need a cane. I am not 100% secure on my feet, but I am thankful that I can do what I can for now.  It was a scary time for me and my wife. I think it took 6 months or so for the diagnosis to sink in, and it took a few years for me to come to terms with it. I am very grateful that I have had my wife stick by me through it all, and the support of my family, who I eventually told. :)


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