In June of 2016 I was feeling on top of the world with my physical conditioning between participating in the 22 Pushups Challenge and averaging about 6 hours a week of training between kickboxing and grappling, when one odd sensation in my hands started to cause me some concern. After about two weeks of feeling a pins and needles feeling in my hands I started noticing numbness in other areas of my body including my pelvic region and feet. Typical Megan style I pushed it to the back burner because I had to make cupcakes for a friend’s wedding and couldn’t let her down. The numbness quickly spread to my entire lower half of my body now including a tingling sensation as well. I ignored and continued about my 4th of July weekend promising myself and others around me I would go to the doctor on my next day off.
On July 5th I got dressed for work for the first time since the tingling had joined the equation and finally realized just how severe of a situation I had been ignoring for a couple days. I called the doctor’s office which offered me an appointment within hours, again typical Megan I couldn’t because I was at work. However I got it together and made a later appointment that day. My primary care office just looked at me confused with no suggestions to even offer up, just ran a ton of blood work and told me to call their preferred neurologist they should be able to get me in that week and sent me to get a brain MRI.
I contacted the neurologists office which gives me an appointment over a month away. Guess I shouldn’t have waited so long to see somebody! Meanwhile I search for an office closer to get an appointment sooner as I am having trouble walking and the doctor’s office has benched me from working out until I see them. I found a recommendation for a different office and got the appointment set up for just a few weeks out instead.
Blood work comes back perfect and I get told it is anxiety but go ahead and finish getting those tests in the meantime. Brain MRI comes back and this is the first time the term MS is thrown my way. How do I react… drink an entire bottle of wine of course!!
Finally I see the neurologist where I get some more sound answers, however go get some more MRI’s and see me back in two weeks. Just kidding we don’t have anything for 5 weeks. In the meantime don’t worry we will talk about what it all means when you come back and no working out. So I am left to stress for five weeks and do my own research about the disease. I started to fall apart emotionally from the stress of it all, meanwhile I am still working my 50 hour work week schedule.
I realize about 4 weeks into my wait period that I need to resume my physical activity before I fall apart totally. I finally return to kickboxing I feel great mentally and I have made it through the class but realize how much strength I have lost in a short period of time, which makes me discouraged.
I return to the neurologists office to get a confirmed diagnosis and be treated pretty cold by somebody who just told me I have a disease that is going to affect the rest of my life and I need to commit to a life of being on potentially dangerous medications.
Fast forward to October I find a great new doctor and medical facility at the University of Penn. They made everything easy, made me feel at ease, he even looked at the MRI’s with me, and we commit to a treatment. Within 48 hours of visiting them they have me set up with Shared Solutions, my payment taken care of, and my copaxone ready to be delivered. All I had to do was contact my assigned nurse to set up an appointment to learn how to administer the injections. Within two weeks I was on my medication.
I can finally breathe again and hooray the fatigue has finally passed as well! Sure I have a chronic disease but I’m on a treatment so now it’s time to resume my regularly scheduled life.