My MS Journey – Part One

I remember Googling my symptoms numerous times throughout the years and clicking on almost everything. Everything but Multiple Sclerosis. It seemed impossible for some reason. I knew too little about it and what I did know seemed too scary. It’s almost a little bit funny to think back on that now! It was the only thing that seemed to continuously show up in search results, yet in my mind there was no chance that’s what it was.
Up until the facts were in front of my face, I never considered it. Not really. I’d had severe vertigo numerous times in my early to mid-twenties lasting anywhere from two weeks to two months. I can’t begin to find the right words to describe the misery that is vertigo. It’s comparable to being sea sick with a stomach virus. It really is that bad! Anyone who’s had it will tell you so. Yet, no one had ever offered me an MRI. Each time I was treated for an ear infection without any proof that it was actually an ear infection. When I have vertigo my equilibrium is completely off and I can’t walk without at least bracing a wall. I noticed early on that it seemed to take months before I could get back to normal again. It still didn’t ring any bells for me. But, why would it? I had no reason to think I had a progressive neurological disease; a disease with no known cause and no cure. I mean, really, who thinks that?! I sure didn’t.
It wasn’t until a relapse (then I had no idea what a “relapse” was) at the end of 2013 that I knew something was really wrong. The year leading up to that relapse had been hard. I can’t pin point exactly why, other than I just didn’t feel like myself. I would cry at the drop of a hat and I was sleeping ALL the time. I remember coming in from walking my dogs and looking at myself in the bathroom mirror. I remember feeling overwhelmingly fatigued and clammy almost every time I would walk them. I guess I thought the mirror should reflect something about why I felt the way I did? I would always end up sitting on the edge of my bathtub bawling my eyes out thinking “I have cancer and I will die because no one will ever find it”.
I hate ending things on a depressing note. I like to be positive and I like to end things with what I am thankful for. But, there isn’t anywhere else to end this. It was one of the most depressing times in my life. I didn’t know what was wrong with me emotionally or physically. I never considered that they could both be tied into one. During this part of my journey with chronic illness I couldn’t see better days ahead. All I knew is that I was sick and I wanted so badly to feel like myself again.

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