It is my two year MS Anniversary today – gosh where do I begin. I have come a long way.
Going in to meet with my neurologist for the first time two years ago, I already knew he was going to say that I have Multiple Sclerosis. It had been nearly two months since my first trip to the doctor. Many theories and tests later the MRI showed that I have lesions consistent with a demyelinating disease. That was followed up by a lumbar puncture , blood work and the appointment with the neurologist.
I remember feeling a HUGE sense of relief when he confirmed that I have MS. The theory (my own thought) that I had a brain tumor had already been ruled out, I had no idea what was wrong with me and I was beginning to think that I was crazy and that it was all in my head.
Then it all made sense! For years I had weird unexplained sensations that I just chalked up as nothing. I was told by doctors that my vertigo was caused by allergies, that the tingling in my arm was carpal tunnel, or a pinched nerve. The weird muscle twitches, the jabbing sensation in my back the extreme exhaustion, the numbness in my face, there is a reason…finally an answer.
Then I wanted to know why. What did I do to cause this? Something I ate? Something I drank, smoked? Is it genetic, do I need to worry about my kids having to deal with this? So many overwhelming thoughts in my head.
Over the next few months I read and researched and experimented. I experimented with supplements and I tried different diets, AIP and Paleo, which were too restrictive to me. I decided I just didn’t want to live like that. Instead I’ve opted to just live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, while enjoying my quality of life. I’m not going to eliminate gluten, dairy, or wine (definitely not!) from my diet. I am going to eat healthy whole foods, the majority of the time and continue strength training. I do take several supplements and a disease modifying drug, it’s working until it doesn’t and then I’ll re-evaluate.
In many ways I am thankful for Multiple Sclerosis, as odd as it may seem to say. It has taught me a lot. I have learned that I am way stronger than I ever thought. Finding my strength has motivated me to help others find their strength. I’m going to live my best life and make choices for me. Yes, even if that means being a little selfish. Life is so short.