Living with Multiple Sclerosis Part 1 - by Lisa in Las Vegas

I'm 45 years old and was diagnosed with MS in August 2003 but I now know I've had the disease since I was 34 years old.  That's when my first bout of vertigo occurred. 

I woke up one morning and when I sat up to get out of bed the entire room started spinning.  I had to lie back down and could not move around the entire day.  It scared me to death so I went to a regular doctor and he stated it was an inner ear thing and it was nothing.  He said it would go away within a week and I would be prone to get it each year.  Well, he was right. It occurred every year when the climate changed and I would run to Urgent Care to get a prescription of Allegra D for the dizziness.  The dizziness was so bad I would move very slowly and move my head real slow because every turn would spin me out. 

Last year again I got the vertigo but this time it lasted three months and on top of that I felt an overall sick feeling plus I got extreme fatigue.  I could hardly pull myself out of bed and make it to work.  The fatigue was what made me go back to a doctor.  I went to an ears, nose, throat specialist and they said we better run an MRI to rule out a brain tumor.  The day of my appointment I had lunch with my sister and laughed that I had to see if I had any brain damage. When I got to my appointment, there were two people in the room and I thought that was odd.  I looked at them and said: "OK, what kind of brain damage do I have?"  They said the good news is you don't have a tumor but the bad news is you have MS.  I looked at them and said OK.  They did not explain anything to me and just said we will now do annual MRIs and if you go down hill call us.  So I said OK and left. 

It did not hit me until I reached my truck and stayed in the parking lot and cried.  I had no idea what MS was but it sounded like a muscular dystrophy disease.  I went home and researched MS and decided there must be something out there to combat this illness so I made an appointment with a neuro.  They ran numerous tests and confirmed the diagnosis.  I switched neuros to find one that actually knew about the disease and treats the majority of people here in Las Vegas , Nevada , for it.  I started on Avonex in February 2004 and have not had my annual bout of vertigo this year! 

I have had new symptoms of spasticity (involuntary muscle tightening and spasms) but I can definitely live with that over the vertigo. 

Lisa's Story continued....

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