Since it is MS Awareness Week, I thought I would share my story on how I got diagnosed. Some might already know my story, but some might not. It's a repost, so enjoy!
I was thinking, some of you may not know the 'whole' story leading me up to today. So here it goes....
In the fall of 2004, Matt and I were working at a boy's ranch. We lived out in the country, which we loved, but living in the country comes with issues; allergies. I suffered from them terribly, so I made an appointment with my primary doctor in Tulsa. He gives me an allergy shot. I off handedly mentioned when I tilted my head forward, the tips of my toes tingled. He did a few in office tests testing my range of motion. All was fine. He was baffled, so he sent me to have an MRI of my neck, thinking something was going on with my neck. Makes sense.
Results came back and nothing was wrong. I let it go, I was still able to run like a wild woman, so I didn't worry about it.
Summer of 2005, we were living in Claremore. If you have ever been to Claremore, they have a lovely running trail along their 'lake.' It's so nice. I did what any runner would do, I became obsessed with running... so I ran and ran and ran. (why I ran so much is another story)
One day, I took off running. I got 20 feet and Bam! my legs were completely numb and tingly from the hips down. I stopped for a minute, took a few deep breaths, and attempted it again. Nope, it wasn't happening. I took a few days off, thinking I had just over done it.
A few days later, I try again. Negative. It wasn't happening.
I make an appointment with a doctor who sends me to have another MRI. Nothing really wrong. I get sent to a 'pain specialist.' I get epidural injections. They don't work. I see a neurosurgeon. He sends me to have more MRI's. This time he does a contrast of my brain. The contrast showed no MS. It shows a cyst in my neck. No big deal, so I'm told.
Soooo, I had spent $6,000 plus and didn't get a single answer, well I take that back I was told 'no MS.' The neurosurgeon referred me to a shrink. Ya, I didn't pay his bill. I am no longer allowed to see him as a patient. "Good riddens" I say.
In October of 2005, Matt and I go to Minnesota. He had to attend a five week training and I went along. When we got back from the Golden State, we were going to live in Bartlesville. So we packed everything into storage and headed up north. Eh. (that's northern talk)
While in MN, things started to get better. I joined the local Y, began water aerobics with the local senior citizens, fished with a local senior gentleman and things were good.
After five weeks of northern life, which we loved, we headed back south.
On November 6th(ish), of 2005, we moved into our tiny, overpriced apartment and life was good. I began running again and things seemed normal.
A few weeks later, we learned I was pregnant. We had our daughter August of 2006, life was good.
A few months after her birth, I ran off and on, without any problems. So I started running more often. I was thrilled, never thought much about what had happened in the past. I chalked it up to over exercise.
August 2007, we were prego again! Surprise! On April 3, 2008, our son was born. I ran a few times after his birth and again, no problems.
January 2009. I hop out of my car, jog into Wal-Mart to beat the chill in the air. I hit the doors and that all to familiar feeling hit me. My right leg was tingling. "Hmm, that's strange." I rested a minute and it went away.
I waited a few months. By March, it hadn't left, so I went to a chiropractor. I thought, "Oh my back is messed up." The chiro. mentioned MS. I said, "Oh I've been tested, I came back clean."
She said, "Ya, but it can come and go."
I didn't know that. I made an appointment with an ortho. I was still in denial. He sent me to have another MRI of my neck and lower back.
I still had the cyst, but it was the same size. I had some messed up discs, so off I went to a physical therapist.
I'm in the therapists office, doing an evaluation. I tell her the story starting in January. She says, "Have you been tested for MS?"
I tell her that I had and I was clean. She mentions that I need a spinal tap to be for certain.
I was angry. I thought she stepped over a line when she said those things. I wanted to be treated for a bad back!
After much thought and prayer, I realize I should make sure. I had read some things about MS and my symptoms followed along some of the lines. No symptoms during pregnancy, tingling leg, arm and I was tired.
Sooo began another journey. I went to my primary here, told her to refer me for an MRI WITH contrast of my brain and whole spine. She agreed to the brain.
My results said I had two spots, but the radiologist thought it was just from migraines. (I don't get migraines.) I knew something was probably not right.
She referred me to a neuro here in town, but I was going to have to wait 3-4 months before I could see him! I didn't have that time. A friend, has a friend, who is a rep. for Copaxone, an MS drug. I have my primary refer me to one of the neuro's she is familiar with and likes.
I wait a few weeks and get in.
He agrees I need a spinal tap. I get it. They call a week later and tell me I need to come in so the dr. can discuss the results. I knew that was bad.
My mom, husband and I are there. He begins talking, I kind of tune him out until he gets to the part I knew was coming. "Megan, there is inflammation in your fluid. That shouldn't be there. You do indeed have MS."
(big sigh) Mom cries. Matt cries. I stare at the floor. I knew it was MS. Too many things/people had crossed my path that lead me to this day. I knew God was delicately corralling me as I walked down the road. He was saying, "Stay to the left." When I wanted to go right. Going right meant I just had a bad back, left meant MS. I attempted to avoid going left, but praise HIM he kept me on the correct side of the road.