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Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Anxious Beginning

In December of 2008 was my first trip to the emergency room. I was on the floor of the kitchen and couldn't move my legs, they had a burning sensation (on fire) & my heart was racing. My kids were there, I can't even begin to imagine how scared this made them. At one point I was asking them to call 911. My husband finally got home and drove me to the hospital. I had him call my parents because I was so scared I was having a heart attack.
ER treated me for anxiety and sent me home. It made me feel embarrassed and like it was all in my head. I never experienced anxiety before.
Walking became very painful; it felt like my legs were extremely heavy and “on fire”, like sand bags were being added on to my every step. My physician gave me Vicodin to see if it would give me some relief. It helped with the pain, but my legs were still getting heavier with each step and I had to rest so often throughout the day to get around.
I was then sent for an MRI of the spine that did show a protruding disc so I was sent to Physical Therapy. The films and my symptoms did not add up. Therapy seemed to worsen things and eventually I could not ambulate (walk).
I could no longer work; I stayed in bed on my side with pillows between my knees. When I had to use the rest room it was easier to crawl, so that is what I did.
My son's birthday was at this time and I was in bed for it. I tried to stand in the living room just for the singing and had to lay down by the time the candles were lit. That felt so bad.
My doctor decided to send me to the neurosurgeon to be sure my symptoms were not related to "disc protrusion". That doctor performed a complete neuro/reflex exam and found this was not to be the case. My parents took me to that appointment. Getting me there was upsetting to them. I cried the entire way in pain. The doctor kept asking why I was crying and wondered if I had experienced some traumatic event in my life that would indicate a psychological problem called PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). He asked if I lost a child, a husband, physical abuse, etc. 
The truth was that my life had always seemed normal. I was always on-the-go. I have four boys, a full-time job and a wonderful family. I never had anyone close to me pass away, both sets of grandparents are still alive and I am almost 40, I have always considered myself quite fortunate!
What a discouraging visit! I said to my mom, "maybe it IS all in my head". My mother assured me that they just needed to figure it out.
My aunt took me to my next appointment, to the neurologist. I lay on the back seat of the van the entire way in tremendous pain. If I could have, I would've laid right on the office floor to wait.
When I got in the room I laid on the table, hoping for some answers this time. I begged the doctor to please just help me to walk again. He direct admitted me on January 22 for "probable MS". That diagnosis was scary, but glad he had a treatment plan.
An MRI of the brain showed lesions x3, the MRI of the spine looked ok and my lumbar puncture was negative. Two days after admission, I began I.V. Solu-Medrol 1 gm twice a day for 3 days. After about the third dose of that I walked the corridor. That was enough to give me hope that I could get better.

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