Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's official

I guess I should start at the beginning. Or the middle. Whatever.

In 2011 the left side of my face became droopy. My Dr. said it was Bell's Palsy. He ordered an MRI. Which is why I have my baseline. Maybe I knew then but I surely know now there was at least one lesion in my brain at that time. But from everything I have read nobody gets diagnosed with just one lesion. It's called Multiple Sclerosis for a reason.

Fast forward to the beginning of February. My face was acting up again. This time instead of falling down it was sort of pulling up. It would spasm for a short time and then sort of relax and this went on for a good four or five days. Until it was mostly frozen in a sort of half smile-smirk for the better part of the day, only relaxing in the late afternoon enough for me to not have to pretend I was just smiling all day. It was an odd feeling. No pain, Just tension. Then some numbness like I just had some work done at the dentist and the Novocaine just wasn't worn off. Then one day I was eating my lunch and I bit a chunk out of my cheek. I tasted the blood before I even knew I had done it. That was weird.

So I decided to get an appointment. Which in itself is a terrible inconvenience. A sub says she can work and then says she can't and then has to write plans from her sub plans for another sub.It gets messy.

But I did it. Initially he thought it was Trigeminal neuralgia. But the more he listened to my symptoms the more he was perplexed. He went through a battery of tests to see how bad the numbness was. What pain was involved? How was my balance? Then he simply said, well I could put you on a muscle relaxer to stop the discomfort. Because that is what I was calling it. I wasn't in pain. It was just annoying. Or we could do an MRI. Did I need muscle relaxer? Is that the quick fix? Are you sure of the diagnosis? No. Okay, I said let's do the MRI. My husband I a joked it was a pretty expensive test to rule some things out. He listed lots of things it "could" be. A whole list. I didn't really hear anything but tumor. Yes, let's rule that out, please.

The nurse scheduled an MRI for the next morning so I went in and laid on the cold table did what I had to do. It was quick and painless. Back to work I went. Hoping for results sooner than later. But, by now the face was beginning to look a little more normal again, or I was just getting used to it. I kept asking my friends, does it look swollen? Can you tell if it's crooked?

Now if you want to read this in sequence you have to read my previous post next. That's what teachers do. We tell you to put the events in sequence. So here it is.

My second date with the MRI was on the mobile truck and it was much more pleasant. Maybe it was just the nice technicians or the fact that I knew exactly what was happening. Although this one was much longer, almost two hours and I needed to have an iv in for part of it so they could take a look at more specific areas in my brain and my cervical spine.

There was one sort of funny part.The tech says, what kind of music do you like? I said I like most kinds. Thinking maybe he had a relaxation cd or ocean sounds or something. He kind of surprised me because they didn't even offer me headphones at the hospital only blaze orange ear plugs. So as the table slid in to the magnetic resonance imaging machine on comes the loudest, twangiest country music. I listened to it for almost an hour before, when they moved me to put the iv in, I begged for 96.5. That part was a litle painful.

So that was late Thursday night. I missed my son's ballgame. I didn't get home till almost 7 from a 3:00 appointment. I was exhausted. Meanwhile I have an appointment to meet with the neurologist at 7:45 the next morning.

I forgot to mention that during all of this my awesome, strong, better half was suffering from a terrible, icky flu. He even went to acute care to get something to help him through it. He tried to make all the appointments with me but he just wasn't well. My mom volunteered to take me in on Friday morning. Late Thursday, the hubby had to call in sick, he decided it just isn't good practice to have a health care professional take care of you while they are ill. But, it made me feel safe because now he would be able to take me in for the diagnosis appointment and his brain is so much more reliable than mine.

He loaded up on cough drops, hand sanitizer and filled his pockets with tissue, and off we went.

The neurologist was all business this time. He showed us the MRI, the MRI with contrast and the baseline MRI from 2011, yes, it was all there. What was there in 2011is bigger now and there are more lesions, And, the most interesting part, the re was plaque in my cheek. He mentioned that is not as common as other places. So it's official.I have M.S.

They handed my husband a book and some pamphlets and me the tissues. We has a strong feeling it was coming. We had a lot of questions. Primarily,what now?

Well a compounded dose of some steroids to start with and then a regiment of 3 shots a week, indefinitely. I repeated it to him, indefinitely? He repeated it once again back to me without a flinch.

All righty then.I have enough reading material to get me through the next several weekends or months.

He did have some words of knowledge but, of course, I barely remember most of it. It will come back to me someday I hope. I do remember him saying a lot of people have it and you can't even tell. Something about maintaining a pretty good quality of life on these medications.

But for the present moment this is my life.

I don't really know how to tell people. It's not like you can see what I have. I'm not afraid of what you might think. I am just not well versed about this disease. But, I know I will be. With the help of my friends and family and some wonderful supplements and vitamins I will be taking this diagnosis for the ride of it's life. My creator had this in mind for me since the moment He made me. I trust him completely even when I can't comprehend what is happening. It's a reminder that I should thank Him because

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