This is MY journey with MS! I give you my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and prayers. My wish that one day this disease will come to an end. That one day there will be a cure. For now, I hold on to possibility. I HOPE this will help and inspire not only myself but others.
 
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Who Am I?

As I begin to write, I find it only appropriate to first start with who I am and why I am here. My name is Jaime. I am 29 years old. Here is where you would expect to hear something along the lines of two years ago my life was changed when I was diagnosed with MS. But, actually I have always had some struggle with my health. The reality is that MS is different.

Growing up it was asthma. Not bad enough to stop me from dancing or playing softball, but it was there. Then there was my brush with endometriosis and early stages of ovarian problems. That brought a lot of pain, and I never thought I could ever be more sick than I was when getting those injections. Finally, after the hysterectomy I figured I would have the life I always dreamed of.

I am a single mom, and so up to this point I had always worked so hard. I figured life is too short. I quit my job in the medical field and went back to school full time. I decided to go for a Business degree so that I could afford the flexibility to work really hard to make a good living while also maintaining the availability to be here for my son. It was during my time as a student that I was diagnosed with MS. I will never forget the day I was diagnosed. It was Friday, February 13, 2004. I am sure it is in part because of the news that I have MS, in part relief that someone had finally put a name to what was going on with me, and in part because it was Friday the 13th. What an experience this has been.

In all of my years of working and being around the medical field, this is the one area I knew very little about. Fortunately, I felt I had a lot of good resources. The doctors were optimistic. Get on a treatment early they would say. This is your best bet of reducing your number of relapses. The problem is my body very rarely seems to do anything by the book. And, of the current medications available, 3 have possible liver interactions, which make them not good choices for me. The medication used to treat my ovaries did damage to my liver, therefore, I am now at risk of again having liver problems. Once an organ is damaged, even if it is repaired, it is more susceptible to injury again. So, I started on Copaxone. Unfortunately, my body did not respond well to the Copaxone. Not to say that it will not work for others, so if you happen to read this and have not started a therapy, don't count it out! The symptoms came and went over the first year. Then the second year they have really hit hard.

In the early part of 2005, that is when I really started to notice a major change. All of a sudden, my memory was starting to be effected as well. No longer were the physical parts of the disease the only areas I had problems with. I now had some cognitive area problems. If it was not for the wonderful professors and staff at the college, along with a great group of friends, I am not sure that I would have ever made it through my last semester of school. Thanks guys! By summer of 2005 my doctors all pushed for me to move to an area where I could have a better support system. That is when things really took a turn. I fell on my graduation day, then again on the 4th of July.

In August we moved to Washigton State to be closer to family. I have not been able to work since. What an adjustment it has been. I have had to learn all over again how to cope with things. It turns out all these years my best coping skill was to throw myself into work. Keeping myself so busy was a way to not deal with all that was going on. This disease forces you to face it head on. A first for me! And, seeing how I am a classic type A personality, control freak, this has been one heck of a challenge.

Now that we have been here for 7 months it is not so bad. Days like today, however make me miss the big city. I have not been doing really well and my neurologist is located in Seattle (4 hour drive). I was to see her tomorrow, only a huge snow storm hit and the passes are now closed so I have had to reschedule for the 21st. This is when living in a big city like Salt Lake and having the doctors close is a nice resource. I do not miss the cold weather or the traffic, however. Anyway, I have spoken to my neurologists office and they will advise me on what they would like me to do in the meantime.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

What were your symptoms from the Copaxone? I have been on it for a month now and can't tell where the headaches and muscle pain is coming from- if it is related?What happened to you when you tried it?

lesserbear


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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my story...my life with MS (among other things).

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