We all dream of a life free from hardships, pain, sickness, tragedies, etc., but then at some point or another we are brought back to reality. With a host of mostly unexplained symptoms (at least in my mind), I was in for some news I was not prepared to receive.
I knew something was wrong when I began having involuntary spasms, meaning I couldn't control my hands, feet, or eyes, so I scheduled a doctor’s appointment to hopefully let them see what I was dealing with. Ok so now I am sitting there and in my mind I thinking… man please spasm come so they won’t think I am cray cray. Lol, so she’s asking me all kinds of questions and I explain what’s been happening and she just looks at me with a blank stare. She then starts to feel my hands and check my eyes. In this moment I am just praying for something to happen. This would be the only way she could accurately refer me. So she starts saying she’s going to prescribe me some steroids or something and then I felt it coming on. Oh yes, I thought to myself as the spasm began, but then I quickly was like ok now you can stop. Lol, they always lasted for about 15-30 seconds, but it felt like forever. She quickly referred me to a neurologist to have a MRI immediately.
I got the MRI and some blood work done and went on my merry way wondering what could actually be going on! I get a call a couple days later and the results came back with the diagnosis of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. WTF man… Like W….T… F….?! Yes, MS! I was given a list of meds to choose from (very overwhelming) and was scheduled for a spinal tap, which confirmed that I have MS! So it was settled Ms. lady, you have Multiple Sclerosis. A degenerative disease that effects the central nervous system. Oh my God!
Quite naturally we go into denial mode and then we start asking those life changing questions like, what does this mean for my life, I mean would I need meds forever, would I end up in a wheelchair, more spasms, fatigue, blindness, balancing issues… I mean what? There were so many thoughts swirling around my mind, but the biggest one was what would I do?
I was first sent to private referral to get steroid infusions for 5 days! I laid in a hospital bed for an hour each of those days thinking about what would become of me. After that I was given prednisone to complete the treatment. Well that was a waste because my spasms came back one day after I completed the meds and it was back with a vengeance! Every step I took, every move I made sent my body into spasms mode! I was miserable and in tears! I was then prescribed Tegretol which cost $200! Whoa! Man this broke me down. I cried and cried, how would I afford meds at this rate. A week later I broke out in hives. What a waste, so I was prescribed Keppra a seizure med. Man, the side effects from both of these meds were unbearable. I didn’t know if I was coming or going, I was falling asleep at work, felt super spaced out, and I was slipping into a depression. I didn’t want to do anything but sit home. I couldn’t focus on anything. I finally got to the neurologist to reduce my dosage and things started to feel normal again or so I thought.
With all these thoughts swirling around, I just couldn’t bear the thought of taking meds that would make me feel some kind of way... I didn’t want to sign up for something that would make me feel a lot worse on them than off. At this point I decided that I had to find another way to approach this condition called MS!
I searched high and low for doctors who practiced functional medicine. Osteopaths, Naturopaths, whoever was experienced in autoimmune disease and most importantly one who had a holistic approach. I successfully found an amazing naturopathic doctor who assured me that I would be able to heal my body from the inside out. A naturopathic doc’s approaches healthcare from the inside out, identifying the source and treating that, not the manifested symptom as traditional doctors do. My decision to seek out a holistic practitioner was the single most important decision I made concerning my health, although I did choose Tecfidera as a MS treatment to quiet my neurologist. I absolutely knew starting what’s called a DMD – Disease Modifying Drug (key word modifying) wasn’t the right thing for me to do, so off to discover what options were out there for me to take advantage of to conquer MS by way of a holistic practioner!
Sooo What Now…
My life has really turned around since my diagnosis and I’m truly grateful. I can’t even begin to tell you the joy, love, and appreciation, I have for my life and the diagnosis I was given. You may be wondering what the heck I am doing for treatment? What changes did I make to rid myself of the symptoms mentioned in the last blog post and how on earth can I be appreciating such a savage kind of disease? Well I am more than happy to share what I learned and how it changed the way I approached this unpredictable, debilitating, autoimmune disease conveniently called multiple sclerosis.
Stay tuned for the final part of Defying the Odds: How I’m Defeating an Autoimmune Disease!