Friday, June 28, 2013

HERE'S MY 1ST COLUMN:



Dear Stan,

Hi! My name is Tina and I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis since I was 18 years old, and Fibromyalgia for 7 years.

Looking back, it all happened so fast. It started on December 30th a Friday. I was at work ( waitress ) and every time I bent over I would just fall. I thought " great " I'm getting the flu. It was that time of year. I mentioned to my then boyfriend how strange I felt, and thought that was the end. Nope. I woke up the and had this unbelievable weight feeling all over my body, I could not stand up. For sure... I had some weird flu. By that evening my speech was slurred, the right side of my face didn't move when I wanted it to, and I felt a tingling on my right side. Sunday wake up and I had no feeling on my right side and my left I had no coordination and the painful tingle feeling. It was New Years Eve and I didn't want to call my Dr, so I just slept hoping that the strange flu would go away. Monday woke up and I'm paralyzed. Called my Dr and he had me go to the E.R right away. I was flown by helicopter to the nearest hospital that had an MRI scan. That was fun! NOT!! When I returned back to the original hospital my Dr had results of MS. We of course did other tests to help confirm it such as spinal tap and blood work. But we also excluded any other possibilities. I remember being happy knowing what was wrong with me and that I was not dying.

Reality set in. I had no idea what MS was. I didn't know what my future would hold. My Dr got me in touch with the MS society but back then there were no treatments. I was sent to a center for people to reside and start the journey of physical, occupational and speech therapy. Most can relate when I say all of these things are wonderful for us, but also so frustrating! We want immediate results. That doesn't happen in reality.

So my journey began. And what a horrific, wonderful journey it has been!

I'm sure y'all get " BUT YOU LOOK SO GOOD " when you tell people, and if any of you are like me... You want to hit someone up side their head and say " I bet that felt good! Yes, I have had many of those rotten feelings.

No one ever told me that being diagnosed with a chronic illness that it wasn't a death sentence to living a happy life. I thought I would have to settle. I'm 42 years old, I have a brilliant 18 yr old son, an awesome husband and the love and support of my family. I have lost friendships, family members who couldn't understand what I was going through and so their way was to ignore it and me.

I have felt alone in which I cannot describe. My dear MS friends can though. I have never wanted pity, or sympathy, just empathy. To understand that pain is pain, that I'm not drunk, I am just having a bad day. There are no magic pills that the Dr can give us to make us feel better let alone those around us.

I'm no longer on a conventional MS treatment as I ran out of options. The new ones kind of scare me.

But I am happy to say that I am healthy, happy and living my life. In 2012 I no longer wanted to live. I was in a wheelchair or using aides to help me get around, I lost my independence completely. My husband had to stop working in the corporate world and work from home to take care of me, there was not a day that I did not have severe pain. I would just lay in bed a sob. I am now on all natural nutrients and I have not had pain in 6 months.

Today I can say " I WIN . "

Thank you Stan for giving us all that you do. I'm very proud to be a Stan's Angel!

Hugs and love,
Tina