After I had my son I decided I wanted to get back into shape. I hired a personal trainer and began my quest to "bring sexy back". There was only one small problem, I kept getting dizzy while I was exercising. Naturally, my trainer was concerned and insisted I see a doctor.
I went to my doctor and since I had, had an episode of vertigo in the past they decided to throw the test book at me. I had CAT scans, MRIs, stress tests, and pulmonary function tests. All was well with my heart but they found abnormalities on my CAT scans and brain MRIs. They were batting around different diagnoses at the time: brain tumor, migraine headache scars, lupus, sarcoidosis, lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis. To say I was overwhelmed is putting it mildly. I did more tests including a spinal tap and numerous blood tests and was sent off to the specialist.
Eventually we narrowed it down to multiple sclerosis. I was stunned - no one in my family had autoimmune issues (I now know that this is not the case). The decision about how to treat the MS was the next hurdle. The treatments involve injectable medications and many have unpleasant side effects. My neurologist and I decided on a less aggressive treatment approach.
Though I carry this diagnosis I realize how lucky I am because it does not have a humongous impact on my physical functioning on a day to day basis. My symptoms involve chronic fatigue which is exaerbated by heat, occasional numbness, and occasional dizziness. My MRIs continue to look good and do not show a progression of the disease from the first MRI almost 5 years ago.
It does however, impact my emotional functioning because I have to live each day with the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds for me physically.
Last week I experienced blurred vision. This was the single most frightening experience I have ever had. I was immediately faced with the fear that I could lose my sight to MS. As it turned out, my vision difficulties did not last long and were probably unrelated to MS. However, it reminded me how quickly my health could take a turn for the worse.
I registered to walk in the MS walk in 2009 for the first time. It gives me a chance to celebrate my mobility and good physical functioning as well as help to raise money for research.
I promised myself that as long as I could move I would walk in the MS walk. It's my way of trying to help rid of the world of this unpredictable disease.
Last year we managed to put together a team than included some of my friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. My good friend Bridget McGee, Mortgage Mama walked with us too.
I would like to invite you all to join us on the walk. Wouldn't that be a fun AR gathering while we all got some exercise and worked for a good cause.
If you aren't local, I hope you will consider making a donation to this cause that means so much to me.
April 10, 2011
Team: Road Warriors