Technically I’ve had Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years at this point. I had my first case of optic neuritis in the summer of 1997 but I wasn’t officially diagnosed until February 1998. Doesn’t really matter at this stage of the game but it is why, like I said in my post yesterday, I don’t prepare for my neurologist appointments. Yesterday I saw my neurologist that diagnosed me in 1998. I remember back in the beginning at my check ups I’d always ask, “Are you sure I have MS?” It became a running joke almost because he’d always reply “Yes, but it wouldn’t be a check up without you asking that question.” I’m not sure when I stopped asking but I certainly did.
Yesterday’s visit went as expected. I know my body. I’ve always known when something was off. I’ve said this before in another blog post but it was my morning exercise routine that always let me know if something wasn’t right. If I was doing one of beachbody’s P90X weight routines then I’d know by the weight tracker how I was doing. I can see if I was having weakness or muscle fatigue. If I was doing a Zumba type of exercise I could tell by my stamina or the coordination of my body. Exercise was always my telltale sign. It’s still no different now. Except now I’ve been through this long enough I can tell subtle differences. I’ve been talking about my arm fatigue for months and months, none of my doctors have seen it. Yesterday, my doctor finally saw it. He also saw one of my other issues that I haven’t even voiced yet. My quads are showing significant signs of weakness. First question he asked is, “Are you having trouble getting up especially off the floor?” That has been happening a lot lately. I had a disheartening post when I couldn’t get up off the floor but that hasn’t been an isolated incident, only the worst incident.
Things aren’t great but nothing I didn’t expect.
There were some positive. I don’t seem to suffer cognitive issues with multiple sclerosis. I don’t live with pain 24/7. I don’t have vision problems. I still drive. I am still able to be on my feet most of the time. It’s been 20 years and my doctor hasn’t retired yet. I feel that I do have a tough disease to contend with and it makes for a difficult daily life but I just can’t complain. I wake up each morning and I have an opportunity to live another day. Talk to people I love. I’m surrounded by animals that I just cherish. I have an amazing support system around me. I have only things to be grateful for. I look at what is going on in this world and my MS just seems so insignificant in comparison. Life is easier with a smile.