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A Caregiver's Story, Scleroderma
A Smoker's Story....."I Just Want To Live"
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Coping With Autoimmunity
Fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondylitis
Fibromyalgia Talks To You
Hypothyroidism, Low Thyroid Condition
Induced Platelet Disorder
Life With SLE
Living With Chronic Pain
Lupus Knows No Boundries
Lupus, Scleroderma & Raynaud's
Lupus, I Just Want To Be Normal
Memorials
Multiple Sclerosis, Diane's Story
Polyarteritis Nodosa, "My Old Doctor Is History"
Polyarteritis Nodosa, Winning The Battle
Pregnancy Loss and Lupus, This Is My Story
Raynaud's Phenomenon: Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Recovering From Depression

"With MS I have learned that I'm not disabled, I just do things differently than most other people."

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 I was diagnosed in August 1989 when I was almost 36 years old. I worked at a bank, and my first symptoms was failing eyesight. I could not see the amounts on the checks. They did tests here at our hospital but ended sending me to a neurogolist in Nashville. This was one of the most scariest times in my life. Believing you might have a brain tumor or had suffered a stroke. I was put through 3 days of continuous tests and sent back home knowing nothing.

Four days and nights later, the Doctor called and confirmed MS. My symptoms at that time, mostly disappeared within 4 months and I was pretty much back to my old self. Everything was on the right side of my body(I am right handed) which was difficult for a time.

Life continued on. I started on Betesaron when it was approved but little by little, I kept getting a little bit worse but I had always said going into this, that I would not let this MS get me down. I had a bad attack in February of 1997 which caused me to completely have to give up my job. That was a most depressing time. I have worked since I was a Jr. in high school and I felt so helpless and useless. I also lost my insurance so had to go off Betasaron since we couldn't afford the $989.40 it cost per month. My great supporting family and a select group of friends helped me through that terrible depression.

I still miss work, but really enjoy being at home too. I tire very easily and the right side of my body is mostly "just there". I get around with a wheeled walker and I have a motorized scooter for use outside.

Of course, I would much rather not have MS but I have accepted it and I do make the most of the time I have left in this life.

March 1999

We had a bad ice storm and we were without electricity for 5 days. Don got the kerosene heater out & we cooked on a Coleman stove BUT it was bad for me. I got sick with a chest cold and congestion and it got me down again. I had to have steroid IV treatments for 5 days every 12 hours and then went through 2 weeks of physical and occuptional therpy to get myself back to "normal". I am still weak but getting stronger each day.

September 1999-QUESTION for everyone---What common human activity relaxes tense muscles,reduces blood pressure and heart rate; exercises the muscles of the face,diaphragm and abdomen;boosts the immune system;and causes the body to release pain-fighting hormones?

The answer:laughter.

Laughter also helps you get some emotional distance from a distressing situation and see humor in it.


June 2, 2000

I started on Avonex in February 2000. Avonex is Biogen's brand name for interferon beta-1a. Interferons are proteins produced by the body which fight viral infections and regulate the immune system. It's not known exactly how Avonex works in multiple sclerosis, but it is thought to regulate the body's immune response against myelin, the fatty insulation surrounding nerve fibers. The goal of Avonex therapy is to slow the natural progression of disability that occurs in relapsing MS. It is supposed to reduce exacerbations and slow the permanent disability caused by MS. Avonex is an injectible drug. It comes as a powder-you have to add sterile water to it and draw it up in a syringe. I give myself a shot each Friday and I have had no reactions to the drug.


Celebs with MS


Montel Williams--Talk Show Host
Annette Funicello--Actress,Singer and Dancer
Richard Pryor--Comedian
David Lander--Actor(Lavern & Shirley)
Alan Osmond--Musician & Author
Clay Walker--Country Music Singer
Stan Belinda--Cincinati Reds Relief Pitcher
Lola Falana--Actress & Singer
Donna Fargo--Country Music Singer
Betty Cuthbert-1956,1960, 1964 Australian Winner of Four Olympic Gold Medals
Joseph Hartzler--Chief prosecutor in Oklahoma bombing case
Jimmy Heuga--Olympic Skier
Lena Horne--Actress & Singer
David Humm--NFL Quarterback for Oakland Raiders
Barbara Jordan--Congresswoman and Civil Rights Activist
Kelly Sutton--Racing Driver
Victoria Williams--Singer


With MS, I Have Learned

  • to be grateful for good days
  • that I can't safely sneeze while standing
  • to focus on my abilities
  • that I'm not disabled, I just do things differently than most other people
  • that borrowing trouble merely means I'll have to pay interest on it later.
  • to take a tablet or two of humor with my morning vitamins.
  • that there are more beautiful sunsets than ordinary ones.
  • that I can't always reach the roses to stop & smell them, but I can enjoy their beauty.
  • that my MS is difficult enough for me to understand, let alone for someone else.
  • that seeing the world from a wheelchair beats being too tired to enjoy it.
  • to adjust,readjust,arrange,rearrange,compromise,change,switch to Plan B,modify,and adapt while smiling.
  • that a kind word,telephone call,card or note can keep me going for weeks.
  • that I learn more when I listen than when I talk.
  • that positive thinking is powerful and reality checks are necessary.
  • that I'm the creator of the quality of my life.
  • that there are people who, without even knowing it, make this world a little brighter and a little nicer to be in; I'm so grateful for those who light up my life.
  • that "oops" is a verb.

    February 1, 2004

    I had no relapses in 2003. I continue to take Avonex & mega doses of vitamins. I really feel this helps to fight off the colds as I didn't have one the whole year. I am continuing with my healthy eating & I purchased a stationery bike in August & have been faithfully riding that 3+ times a week. I am still driving and still use my wheeled walker but I feel good. I may be slow in getting around but at least I am still getting there. Don't give up or into your MS. Fight it every day. Change your attitude. Remember to laugh alot!! May 2004 bring you peace within yourself.

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