One year ago, on Valentine’s Day at the age of 31, I entered a neurologist’s office for the first time.
Having led a healthy and active lifestyle, I was so sure that the absolute worst thing that could be wrong with me causing the numbness and burning all along the left side of my body was a pinched nerve.
I even told my husband Rich, that we should dress up and be ready for a quick appointment after which we would go out to dinner to celebrate.
The doctor pointed to the lesions on the MRI scans of my brain and spine and then another shattering first: we heard the words “Multiple Sclerosis.”
A short week later, the burning escalated to the point of excruciating and unbearable. I was admitted to the hospital and two days later, I was too weak to stand on my own.
I was completely unprepared for the next three months that would follow in the hospital, and how every day would be consumed with debilitating pain and the total loss of the independence which I had my entire life.
We experienced every emotion on an endless loop over the course of the next few weeks and months: from disbelief and shock, to sadness and anger, and even depression.
Although I have still not recovered from that first acute exacerbation, I am fighting every day to get out of my wheelchair and walk independently again. I am encouraged, determined and have so much hope for the future!!
I refuse to let this define me, and I am confident that I will enjoy the life I once had again.
My recovery and struggle with MS has also signified and begun to represent something so much bigger than my story, because I feel so passionate about being able to help other people in my position. It truly would have made all the difference in the world if I had met someone struggling with MS when I was first diagnosed and hospitalized. That’s why I’m making it my mission to help others in any way possible.