MS Journal I

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By Jewel Tyler

Two years ago, I was faced with receiving the most difficult news in my life. As I lay in the hospital trying to remember my telephone number, address and things that come to mind naturally. A female doctor walked into the emergency area where I lay with IV’s connected to my hand that had no feeling. My spine felt like it was on fire. My left leg was useless. She asked, “Has anyone ever checked you for Multiple Sclerosis?”

My first response was “what is Multiple Sclerosis?” My second response was “of course not.” I was then whisked away to the X-ray area and before I knew it I was in a MRI machine. When I returned to my area in the emergency room, I was given Morphine for the pain and told we had to wait for my test results.

As the morphine burned it’s way through my body, my mind attempted to race with the idea of what could possibly be going on with my body. Of course, my first natural response was to pray about it all. I had a friend with me in emergency along with her son and the pain had not subsided even after the dose of morphine. I tried to relax as best I could, but I continued to not accept the doctor’s prognosis.

The doctor later returned to inform me that they had found lesions on my brain – five to be exact. She said I needed to have a spinal tap done and I absolutely refused to have that procedure done in the emergency room. I was told I was going to be admitted and also administered Solu Medrol via my IV. I was later taken to my room, settled in and the nurse started the medication.

I remained in the hospital for another two days and upon my discharge the doctor who provided the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) prognosis asked that I follow up with her, after being discharged. She also stated that I could have possibly had five mini strokes that went untreated but there were tests required to confirm what was really going on with my body.

I returned home, rested for a couple of days and returned to work and continued life as usual. I never called the doctor nor followed up with anyone.

Not even three months later, I began to notice I was experiencing extreme fatigue. I live in Dallas, TX and the spring was approaching. Anyone from Dallas knows there are only two seasons (Winter and Summer). The heat for some reason caused me to experience extreme fatigue. Fatigue unlike anything I have ever endured in my life. I parked three downtown city blocks from my office where I worked. And I recalled talking to my mother as I was walking to my car in the sun and the heat. It took me 20 minutes to walk three blocks I had to keep stopping to simply rest. By the time, I finally reached my car I was exhausted to no degree. This repeated every afternoon. I finally decided to spend the extra cash and park in the covered parking garage. This helped some but by the time I sat in my car it was burning up and I felt like I would pass out.

I finally conceited and decided to contact the neurologist I had met at the hospital and schedule an appointment. It was six months after my hospitalization when I initially met her. When I arrived for my appointment, we discussed the extreme fatigue I was experiencing and the numbness in my fingers, hands, left leg and foot. She sort of brushed over those symptoms and continued to focus on the “mini stroke” diagnosis. We discussed as a young teenager I experienced complex partial seizures and the majority of my adult life I had experienced migraines inclusive of “cluster migraines.” She informed me that one can get brain lesions from migraines as well. So, our next steps were extensive tests primarily focused on the migraines as well as the mini strokes. I was fine with that!

I had EEG’s blinking strobe light testing, I had to sit in front of a computer screen with a black and white swirling program. The diagnosis came back that I could be prone to seizures. No new news (smile). I had already explained to the doctor I had seizures as young girl.

I spent so much money for follow-up visits and testing but I was not feeling any better. I had not had a seizure in years! I continued my visits with the doctor and continued to deteriorate health wise as well. This went on for a year. Finally, I believe I had enough of the run around I felt I was getting with this female doctor. So, I stopped going to see her. However, I continued to be very nervous about my health that seemed to not be improving at all!

I did seem to have some relief when the fall started to approach, but to my surprise, once again, the numbness became overwhelming again and the fatigue! I had no idea where to turn or what to do. I took some time off from work and rested at home for a couple of days.

Not realizing, I was about to experience the most frightful health experience ever.

(to be continued).

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