I came to the ER on Sunday morning. I just wanted to make sure this numbness on the right side of my face wasn’t a stroke. I wasn’t terribly worked up about the stumbling, the dizziness. There is a reason my husband called me Grace for a long time. Because I was a klutz. I’m always bruised or falling down. Tripping over my own feet, or worse yet, tripping over nothing.
When they said they wanted to do an MRI, I still wasn’t real worried. Glad they took me seriously. I came out of the MRI, a Dr came into the room and said “You have MS, a neurologist will be in soon.” and she walked out. An hour later, another Dr came in. “Have they talked to you yet?” I said “Just to say I have MS” she said “That what I came to tell you, well, a neurologist should be here soon.” And she walked out. A nurse came, told me I was being admitted. I told the kids I’d be gone a couple hours. It’s now been a full day, and no one will tell me anything.
It took 36 hours to talk to a neurologist. I found out it would be a 5 day hospital stay. Another couple MRIs to confirm the diagnosis. A steroid IV drip that is making my body think it is diabetic, so, insulin shots 4 times a day, along with the finger pricking. Blood draws. The meds make all my food taste metallic, and I’m at a high fall risk, so they won’t let me move from the bed. They put an alarm on the bed, it took 3 days to convince them to turn it off so my husband could hug me. I walked today without a walker. A month ago I was climbing mountains…today I had to practice walking around a couple cones on the floor of the PT room. Today my IV messed up, as the kids came in. My arm was covered in blood, my oldest cried, I told Aussie to take them to Starbucks. They left, the nurses tried to give me a new IV. 7 tries. I look like I’ve had the crap beat out of me.
I have questions, but I ask them, and all anybody can say is “We have no idea”. 80 different symptoms that come and go as they please. Some people work for 30 more years with few problems, some people end up paralyzed in a wheelchair in 5 years.
I’m torn. I don’t even know how i feel. Part of me is relieved. Like, maybe now I can take some medicine, and I won’t fall all the time. My clumsiness and forgetfulness won’t be a joke. When I just want to go to bed at 9pm, I’m not old. I just need to. Now there is a name, and I know what I’m dealing with.
But, I’m also scared, and a bit mad. And, I keep breaking down and crying in the middle of sentences. This isn’t fair. I’ve been working so hard on getting healthy, on being more active, and now my immune system wants to destroy my nervous system? What the hell? I don’t want to pity, but that doesn’t mean I’m not mad.
I’m scared.I’m never scared, so for me to say it is a pretty big deal.
And, it doesn’t seem quite real…I’m reading about all these people. About how they are always so tired, how they are always in so much pain. I don’t have that, so I must not have real MS. I mean, I had symptoms Monday, and went to piloxing and was fine. Like, clumsiness isn’t a disease. Right? So, I’m fine.
Maybe I’m in denial.
Or, maybe I’ll do what I always do. Pout for awhile, and move on. The few people I have told all say “I love your attitude”. Which is nice, but what other attitude is there? I’m only 29. I’m not gonna park my ass in a wheelchair and let this define me.I’m not letting this undo all the work I’ve put into myself over the last couple years.
And to be honest, one of my first thoughts after this was “Well, hell…I finished college, with good grades, recently, while actively being brain damaged. That’s pretty amazing.”
I want to go home. I want to see my kids. I want to walk my new dog. I want to sleep in my own bed and stand up when I feel like it, and stop eating crappy hospital food.
Now it seems, if I want to keep this under control, I need to avoid stress. Which, I’d already been taking steps to refuse it anyway, so that’s good.
I told Aussie yesterday…”I haven’t spoken to my parents in 4 months. 120 days. That isn’t that long. In those 4 months, I’ve been to a half dozen states, 2 countries, hiked mountains, decided I wanted to change my name to Katie, got a tattoo, got a pit bull, and found out I have MS. Apparently 4 months is a very long time.
So yeah, in more interesting news, I have a tattoo
It’s an airplane skywriting a heart.
And, 2 weeks ago we went to the animal shelter and came home with a new family member. This is Trixie.
She is a 5 yr old pit bull/lab mix who is pretty much in love with me. If Aussie tells her what to do, she looks at me to make sure it’s ok. And, as odd as it sounds, I’m really glad we got her now. Someone to keep me moving on bad days. She has to be walked I can’t just ignore that. She’s sweet as can be. She likes walks and kisses. She is protective of me, and plays nice with my kids, and my little nephews. She has been fine with the boys friends. She doesn’t seem to be aggressive with other animals, but she is definitely on guard. The shelter was worried about giving her to me, because the shelter was in another county. The county I live in has a zero tolerance policy for pit bulls. If she gets away, if she bites, if she shows any aggression, if another dog attacks her and she fights back, she will be put down. So, I promised, she is an inside dog. She doesn’t get tied out, she walks with a harness and a leash. They let me take her and I’m glad, she seems to be a good fit for us. She has enough energy to go on a run, she loves walks, two or three times a day. Then she comes home and wants to cuddle and chill.
So, yeah, that’s what is new with me.