Owning My Decision…Or So I Thought
The piercing sound of the alarm clock signaled the start of yet another day. I quickly made sure the boys, 13 and 11, were up and moving – like Mom, they definitely were not morning people. Another action packed day was in store for us. My eldest headed out the door to catch the bus and my youngest was packed and all set to be dropped off at school for the day. Next stop, I was off to work where I was a medical assistant in the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. As a single Mom at the time, I considered work a resting place. I was centrally located for a given period of time. One of the greatest joys in my life was being a Mom. The boys knew if they needed me, I was just a phone call away! Always!
My daily plans completely changed November 5, 2000, thirteen years ago today. The day was like many others: boys to school, work and pick the boys up from their after school activities. We proceeded to vote at our local fire station. Shortly after returning home, I received a phone call from our family doctor. “The results of your MRI arrived today…you have MS.” “Okay,” I replied as my wheels were churning thinking about what he just said. “You’re taking this very well,” he said. “I’m not dying, am I?” I replied. “No, but I would like for you to come to the office to discuss a plan of action.”
Our family doctor had my utmost respect and trust. He’s been our PCP for years. I was following him for extreme fatigue and vertigo-type symptoms. All my blood work came back fine. We just assumed my symptoms were from simply being a Mom with a crazy schedule. Made sense to me.
Shortly thereafter, my daily five-mile walk became a literal staggering event. Back to my family doctor. Repeat blood work, all normal again. “Let’s get a MRI to make sure it’s nothing.” What a blessing that was. Forever grateful he listened to my concerns and utilized tools available to rule out or confirm a diagnosis.
Being in the medical field, I had studied MS, but unless you work in that area, you forget. I certainly did. You can rest assured that I talked to anyone who would listen to my questions, both in and out of the medical field. Talk about “Type A!” The internet became my best friend (be careful where you research though as all sites are not always accurate) as I began to learn everything I could about MS.
With that, my PCP referred me to a neurologist specializing in MS. We reviewed all my options as he educated me on what I was facing. I learned there was no cure for MS, however, there were DMDs (Disease Modifying Drugs) available to manage and hopefully slow the process and activity of multiple sclerosis. We elected to start Avonex. Perfect! I owned my MS with the goal to halt this disease right in its tracks…or so I thought.
“Count Your Blessings”