Hello, friends and loved ones.
This year, MS Awareness Week falls between March 5-March 12. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a blog post about it.
Well, there have been lots of days lately where I wonder that same question, but the simple answer is:
I have MS.
My heart is beating pretty hard as I write this out, because I’m putting myself “out there” and I’m very, very new to this and still wrapping my head around what all of this means. I took an innocent trip to my neurologist for a weird thumb trick (that’s why my neurologist called it, so that’s official doctor speak) which led to an MRI to confirm a pinched nerve in my neck. That MRI showed an abnormality, which led my neurologist to order additional MRIs. All in all, with countless tests, needles, and new friends at various medical facilities, I went from thinking I had a pinched nerve in my neck to learning that I have a chronic illness and will for the rest of my life. (Ironically, it seems that MS has nothing to do with my thumb-trick, so I’m still at square-one with that one.)
Luckily for me, I caught on to my sneaky and over-active immune system before I had any serious clinical symptoms that I can recall, but at the same time, the MS diagnosis hit me like the 2017 presidential election (ugh….too soon). I feel fine, so how could my neurologist tell me I have a chronic illness that is entirely unpredictable, and that will require treatment and monitoring for the rest of my life? Surely, I thought, this had to be a mistake. But two MS neurologists later, I still can’t shake the diagnosis.
Each day during MS Awareness Week, I plan to write a quick post with some facts about MS. I’m also participating and fundraising as a virtual-walker for the Walk MS: Washington, DC event on April 30 in an effort to help the National MS Society with its much needed advocacy and research work. Every dollar counts, so if you feel so inclined to contribute, I’d be forever appreciative of your support as I embark on this journey.