It was the end of a fantastic, self-empowering summer, exactly a month since my 26th birthday when I was diagnosed with a neurological disease called Multiple Sclerosis.
What is it? *Bill Nye voice*
Picture this: your nerve cells are covered in a protective protein coating called myelin. With MS your own immune system attacks the myelin leaving your nerve cells exposed and disrupting the communication between your brain and body.
How did it effect me?
Constant fatigue, numbness, loss of balance, extreme mood swings, dizziness, vertigo, urinating every 10-20min, and the worst part: cognitive function.
Forming sentences out loud to express an opinion is a challenge. My short term memory, almost unreliable and in the middle of a task I become distracted.
When I had an MRI of my brain done it showed a white spot, or lesion, where the biggest and most recent flair up happened but when the doctors took a closer look they saw I had 3 smaller lesions that could go back to childhood. The scariest part was when my doctors told me my case would be fatal if left untreated.
The first three months of the diagnosis I cried 2-3 times a day. I was worried that I would lose my job, not get to accomplish my goals, and that my bubbly personality was going to pop.
But I am no quitter!! With the support of my family and friends we quickly formed a support system and did research on how to contain the incurable disease. Diet, exercise, supplements, and medication help control the disease so I won’t relapse. Marijuana has helped tremendously with the fatigue and emotional aspect the disease brings. Mental and physical therapy have also been a great factor in helping cope and physically deal with MS.
I’ve looked in the mirror everyday since August 28, 2016 and tell myself, “well if you’ve made it this far, a brain disease will be THE LAST thing to stop you”. *flips hair*
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