My Multiple Sclerosis (MS) personal story began in 2001. At that time, I was pregnant with my one and only daughter. Everything was seemingly going fine. Until close to my due date. I developed Preeclampsia (a condition that happens to pregnant women in their late second or third trimester where their blood pressure is really high). My feet were swollen like two sausages, but I lived with it for a few days, not knowing what it was because I had a doctor’s appointment coming up.
At my doctor’s appointment, he told me I had Preeclampsia, and that I was to go directly to the hospital and be induced so that I could have my daughter. Unfortunately, my daughter wasn’t a willing participant so the doctor determined I’d need a C-section. Since I had high anxiety (later to be diagnosed with PTSD) they put me fully under anesthesia, and the doctor said I’d lost a lot of blood. So, I was kept in the hospital for longer than usual as they attempted to bring my iron levels up.
Upon release from the hospital, my ex and I went to stay at his Mother’s two-story house. I started having problems where I was extremely short of breath. A doctor stopped by to check on me and dismissed it as “nothing.” Unfortunately, I was about to learn differently. When I took my daughter back to the doctor in the middle of winter, I had to put the air-conditioning on full blast, so I could breathe. At that time, I suffered from congestive heart failure, which my doctor now believes brought about the onset of my MS.
Over the years, my MS has lapsed and relapsed many times. It’s not all been bad, but there have been a lot of bad times which are more difficult for me since I’m a single mother. I’m homebound, I don’t have any friends (other than those whom I’ve met online) and my parents don’t believe there’s anything wrong with me. Some of my current symptoms include the fact that I:
1. Oftentimes stutter while I speak
2. Walk in a way that I appear impaired or drunk.
3. Have difficulty moving from a seated into a standing position.
4. Have memory problems.
5. Have nights where my nerves are so overactive that they cause itching. Scratching doesn’t help.
6. Oftentimes I see floaters in my vision (they’re not sure if it’s the MS or my diabetes causing this)
7. Suffer from bladder problems ranging from urgency to the occasional incontinence, as well as constipation.
8. Am fatigued regardless of how much I sleep. Unfortunately, I can’t sleep without help from my medication (my doctor isn’t sure if it’s this or my PTSD causing this for sure).
9. Acute pain like lightening bolts throughout my body
10. Am weak overall.
Clearly, I have lots symptoms occurring; some days are much easier to cope with than others.
Do you have any of these same symptoms? How do you manage them?
Written by: Maria Hoffman (read more about me here)