Last reply 3 weeks ago
Newbie

Hi! My name is Melissa and I’m new here and I’m hoping to find a good support group. I was diagnosed in April of 2015.
My story began as many others do. I just woke up one morning and my legs were numb. I could still walk but with difficulty. I of course thought it would go away and when it didn’t I went to my local er. They did some tests including an MRI but not a contrast MRI on my brain. I thought I had a pinched nerve that might require surgery and I was scared to death thinking about that. The MRI showed nothing and this particular hospital was a complete waste of time and $. I left with no answers and was told it might be a pinched nerve.
I went back home and the next day the numbness had crept up a little more and by the 3rd day my legs were completely numb, all the way up to my chest. My hands were numb and I had partial numbness in my arms. My sweet sister drove me an hour to an incredible hospital in Winston Salem NC called Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. I was SO SCARED because i knew there was something seriously wrong. I was incontinent by then and I couldn’t walk.
Mind you my husband works out of town and has our whole marraige and at that time he was across the country in CA. Thank you God for giving me such a great family and access to such a wonderful hospital and team of Dr’s.
I think it was on the 2nd day there that they did the contrast MRI of my brain and spine. I didn’t have any lesions on my spine but I had 6 on my brain. My husband had flew in and had gotten there 15 minutes prior to us getting the news that they were almost certain that it was MS but to be sure they needed to do a spinal.
I just completely crumbled into my husband’s arms. My great Aunt has this as well and she’s been wheelchair bound since as far back as I can remember. I couldn’t walk and I had a catheter in so in my mind that’s what I thought it was going to be like for the rest of my life. To say the least I was absolutely devastated!
They did the spinal tap and it came back that yes, it was in fact MS. I still don’t know how they determine what category to class you in but they said I had relapsing remitting. So that meant I could improve, I could get well!! Of course I would need loads of steroids and excruciating physical therapy. It took me nearly 3 months but I worked my butt off and I got my movement back!!! BEST FEELING EVER!!
So that is the beginning of my sorry. I was very naive to think “Heck yea, it’s over, I’m back baby, I’m good and I’m safe!” I’ve had many set backs since then but I’ve never gotten as bad as I was that first time (knock on wood) and I thank God for that because you never know if you’re going to get it back right. There are still areas of my tummy and thighs that are numb and you know those t-shirts that say “I’m not drunk I just have MS” I need to wear one of those on a daily basis, lol. I’ve always been a clumsy person but it’s just gotten ridiculous and I know you guys know exactly what I’m talking about. Just last night I ran right into a wall that’s been there for 10 years with my left shoulder and I have a huge bruise.
I wanted to start off light and just explain how it all began for me before I started getting too deep into the day to day struggles of having this disease. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. A lot of times I feel guilty about complaining because I know how much worse people have it and how much worse off I could be and have been. I do feel like if you’re going to have MS I have the best kind to be diagnosed with. That’s what my team of Dr’s told me.
Still it has forever changed my life and the lives of those around me. I have a son Gage, who is 16 and daughter Keira, who is 14. They are my whole heart walking around in this world and I’d do anything in my power to keep them healthy and make them happy and successful in this life.
I also have a wonderful husband! We’ve been together for 20 years now and I don’t know what I’d do without his support. As I mentioned previously he does work out of town. He provides everything we need and most of what we want. I hate that he has to be away but unfortanately that’s where the $ is and we all know how important benifits are. If we didn’t have insurance I really don’t know what we’d do.
I have a supportive family that means the world to me and they make sure to check in on me often. We all live very close to one another, like 20 minutes at the most so that’s very convenient. We used to live 2 hours away and that sucked. So I’m super happy to be back home for almost 5 years now!
I just wanted to open up and tell you all a little bit about myself and my life and I so hope to make some friends on here. It is so conforting knowing that you all are going to know exactly what I’m talking about when I say, “I couldn’t get out of bed until noon” or, “There’s NO WAY I can go with you guys to the mall today” because there’s those times when we wouldn’t be able to walk. Nobody understands those things. As supportive as they are they don’t handstand. I mean we look healthy to them. They say “Well you can always rest and then you’ll feel better” they don’t understand that if we push ourselves too hard WE WILL PAY THE PRICE and wind up in terrible pain and in the bed for days.
I’m a very hard headed, determined person so I had to learn the hard way. Heck I’m still learning. I mean I never thought a hot shower would be my enemy but here we are.
I’m so looking forward to the comrodery that is possible with a platform like this. Please forgive me for writing a book. I really really hope that somebody got all the way through this. If so, thank you so much! I’d read yours, I promise. I wish everyone love, peace, happiness and last but certainly not least, I wish you health and healing. Have a great day and God bless! 💛🙏😊

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highlander
3 weeks ago

@melissa_jessup
Hi and welcome to the club.
I read all your post…..had to recharge my battery and put more ink in my monitor….phew your keyboard must be hot!😃

Joking aside you feel free to rant, moan, shout and scream if you need too, we all need to every now and again.
Loads of advice if you need it.
Ask and we try and find an answer.
Just keep a sense of humour.
I’m sure more enlightened members will be along soon to say hi
Keep smiling!


rotherhamdave
3 weeks ago

@melissa_jessup

Wow what a read but welcome

Like @highlander says moan n shout on here.

Having a laugh is always good cos sometimes u forget that u have ms. Don’t live being depressed. I live with a fun n positive attitude. It really helps

Anyway, hi from me


melissa_jessup
3 weeks ago

Lol thanks @highlander yes my keyboard is smoking! I get carried away and excited and arrow mini books. Even when I’m texting family and friends tgey call them “Melissa texts because they can tell by how many notification dings they get that it’s me, lol. I just wanted people to get a feel for who I am below i get into the nitty gritty. Thank you for responding abd I hope to chat soon! Take care 😊


dvtrv
3 weeks ago

@melissa_jessup

Then a few days later I finally finished reading your War & Peace, he he.

The advances in medication I’ve noticed since 2011 r very interesting.

MS is well controlled now so hope you shouldn’t be one wheelchair bound.

Good luck and rant till your hearts desire


stumbler
3 weeks ago

Hi @melissa_jessup and welcome.

Thanks for sharing your story, It will resonate with a fair few of us, I’m sure. And, it’s quite cathartic to write it all down.

Just remember, MS may make us weak individually, but together we can be strong.


vixen
3 weeks ago

Hello @melissa_jessup, that was some introduction! My own posts on Shift have been little and often, rather than present in your epic proportions! I like your blessing-counting attitude, having that outlook is surely our greatest friend. I was diagnosed at the same time as my sister two years ago, so it was a huge trauma all round. But hey ho, as you have said, there are far, far worse things. I am managing OK, but making lots of changes towards a better life. I have an amazing husband, who views this very much as a journey for the both of us so I’m lucky. 5is is a great community, it has contributed a great deal to me getting to the point I’m at today. It’s nice to ‘meet’ you, take care and stay strong….x

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