When I was 21, I woke up one day with my vision all screwed up. I thought my glasses were bent and I realized quickly that it was my eyes that were messed up. As the day progressed, my vision would slowly go back to normal. I consulted an eye doctor who ran some vision tests and couldn’t find any issues. So they recommended I get an MRI and even blood tests to check for diabetes. Diabetes runs in my family and I was pretty overweight at the time. I had the MRI and blood tests on the same day. I had to fast for the blood tests. The MRI was first and by the time I got to the blood tests, I was super hangry. I am sitting in the chair getting blood drawn at my doctor’s office. In comes the doctor who says to the nurse “Don’t let her leave. We have to talk to her about the MRI test results.” I am like seriously? I am so hungry!! My mother was there with me and I told her that it was probably a brain tumor and they will have to remove it because it was compressing my eyeballs. She wasn’t extremely amused by my humor. After they sucked the life out of me, we were lead to an exam room to wait for hours on the doctor while wasting away to nothing, because I hadn’t eaten yet and it was around 2 pm. The doctor came in and showed us the MRI scans. They told us that he thought that the lesions on the white matter in my brain were active as well as old Multiple Sclerosis lesions. This would be causing my vision to be screwed up. The next step was to admit me into the hospital and run other tests which included a spinal tap and putting me on steroids to control the exacerbation. So at this point my mother is crying and I am just like can we get food before we have to go to the hospital? I literally only wanted food at this point and could care less that I was just given this scary diagnosis. They told us it would take a couple hours for the hospital to be ready for us. As we leave to find sustenance, I looked at my mother who was still crying and told her “Well at least it wasn’t a brain tumor right?” She was still not amused by the morbid humor. I spent a week in the hospital getting tests and prednisone to control my symptoms. I went into a deep depression after that. I did do a ton of research though. I was given injections that made me feel sick every other day with these hideous injection site marks. They were big round and red circles. I still have a bit of a scar on my stomach. I decided that something had to give.
I was tired of feeling like shit all the time.
When I was diagnosed, I was told that some of the lesions were probably from about 4 years before. I read that marijuana high in CBD was really good for controlling MS symptoms. It has been shown to help with managing symptoms like: improving spasticity, chronic pain of extremities, tremors, emotional dysfunctions, fatigue, double vision, bowel and bladder dysfunctions, dysfunctions of walking and balance and memory loss. It hit me that I had actually just quit smoking it on a daily basis because my job didn’t allow it. I realized that I was actually self medicating the entire time and the minute I stopped, my body freaked out. I actually had to stop taking the injections anyway due to getting pregnant. I decided not to start them again.
In my research, I read that diet and exercise were also huge factors in controlling MS symptoms. Some of the best diets to follow are: Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, Gluten Free Diet, and Swank Diet. Almost all the diets recommend avoiding highly processed food, foods with high glycemic index and food that is high in saturated fat. Most of the diets also recommend reducing consumption of fatty red meat and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. They are all based on eating fresh food and nothing that’s boxed.
My work gave us a personal trainer and a nutritionist really cheap to promote health and wellness, because we worked in a call center. We sat down the whole time we worked and the insurance company was offering lower rates if we participated. So I started working on losing weight after I had my first daughter. I lost over 100 pounds even with my work laying us off and I had to continue my weight loss journey without the personal trainer and nutritionist. Jillian Michaels became my new trainer. Doing her videos really helped keep me on track.
I decided to try the Paleo Diet. It really did help me lose weight, but it was really expensive to keep going. I did eventually switch to just eating fresher foods and and lean meats. I have tried many different diets. I have found that low carb diets work better for me. Foods that aren’t processed and low in carbs work really well for my system. Highly processed foods make my body feel really crappy. If I start eating really badly, my body will instantly let me know. Most of the time I get pain in my ribs.
I do not regret getting this diagnosis because it told me that I have to change my ways. If I didn’t take care of my body then it was going to make my life hell. Not too long after my diagnosis, my mother started having health issues as well. She chose not to heed the advice of her doctors. My mother was not going to give up the bad food and drinking only Pepsi all day. My mother’s health continued to decline and I didn’t want that for myself. My mother passed away at 56. I don’t want to be like her. I want to live my healthiest life and live as long as possible.
There is no real cause or cure for MS. There are only ways to control it. Here lately I have met several people who have it. I had not met very many who had it until this year. I am not sure if that means that it is something more and more people are getting diagnosed with or if I just happen to meet more people with it all of a sudden. I am hoping it is the latter. I am lucky that mine isn’t aggressive and I am able to live a very normal life.
If you would like to learn more about MS or think you might have it, just google Multiple Sclerosis and you will find many great resources. If you think you may have it, definitely get with your doctor. Don’t ignore your body if it is trying to give you signs. My huge sign before the eyesight issues was extreme fatigue all the time. I can now tell you if it is raining before looking out the window. Rain has a huge impact on my energy levels.
Do you or anyone you know have MS? What lead to your diagnosis? Comment below and let me know!