It all started in my mid-twenties, when I was working as a nurse in the hospital, I lost vision in one eye during the course of a night shift. I went to my family doctor who asked me to read an eye chart with the affected eye. I explained that I couldn’t see anything, let alone the eye chart! He then arranged very quicky for me to see an opthoneurologist. What I had was an optic neuritis – typical presenting symptom for MS. Then the tests began – brain scan, EEG, lumbar puncture, bloodwork – the results were not conclusive; the Dr. only said that is was some sort of “demyelinating disease”, possibly MS. My eyesight was restored after about a week after a course of prednisone.
All was well (besides minor symptoms) until 6 yr later when I had an optic neuritis in the other eye. Having a different Dr. this time, there were not tests or prednisone and my eyesight did return as before in a week or so.
During the next few years (15 or so), I continued to have minor symptoms. Then one day in 2000, I went to get out of bed one morning and I was so dizzy, I couldn’t walk straight. I went to my family Dr. who thought it was an inner ear problem. After about a week or so, the dizziness subsided but my hands developed pins and needles, starting with the 5th fingers and working around to the thumbs- all this happened on a drive from Fonthill to Chatham. I was then referred to a neurologist who ordered an MRI. Finally the diagnosis of MS came. I was devastated even though I had been told long ago that it was possible. Shortly after, I was started on Copaxone, a daily injection. I have been very fortunate to have no relapses since starting this med.
I had thought of doing the MS Walk at times but once I was diagnosed, I knew I wanted to do something to help. I always felt lucky that I was ABLE to walk..so many others with MS had so many more problems. We started off with a team of 4 in 2001 and have grown to a team of 8-10 with 5-7 others volunteering at the checkpoint during the Walk. This is an awesome group of dedicated people, consisting of family and very close friends. We are all committed to raising funds to support research to help end MS, as well as help provided much needed services locally.
I am part of the MS Walk because I believe we will end multiple sclerosis - with your help we can get there. Please give generously.
** As of 2018, a higher dose of Copaxone has been approved to be given 3 times a week. Luckily, I was able to switch to this from my daily injection. MUCH nicer!