I am married with two grown children and a wonderful grandson, and a sweet dog. I live in a town of about 1000 people in Saskatchewan, Canada.
My first symptoms appeared about 15 years before I was diagnosed, with double vision, muscle weakness, heat percipated symptoms, I had MS-Related fatigue, and Trigeminal Neuralgia in my right cheek, to name but a few.
In the early 90’s I started to experience more strange, disappearing symptoms. These symptoms were well and active at home but hid themselves from my doctor.
In August 1995 I had been trying to ignore the symptoms that came back full force in June and stayed, I suspected that they indicated that I might have MS. I felt that if I ignored them, then I wouldn’t have MS.
I happened to be at my doctor’s for another matter when she had an intern examined me. The intern noticed me experience trigeminal neuralgia and asked me to describe what had just happened to me. She said that she had taken a course on MS symptoms the day before and that when trigeminal neuralgia shows up for the first time in someone my age it was usually because of MS. She did a full MS examination and referred me to a neurologist.
The neurologist did an MRI, which showed few lesions. So he performed a spinal tap, which was conclusive to MS. When he told me that I had MS he walked into his office, slapped my chart down, perched on the edge of the desk, and said, “You have MS!” pause, “If you don’t have $17,000 a year to spend on medication there isn’t anything I can do for you. Do you have that kind of money?” I numbly answered in the negative. He grabbed my chart and walked out the door as he was saying, “Have a good day.”
My strong faith and my family helped get me through the trauma of the diagnosis and the aftermath.
A new neurologist started me on Copaxone in February of 2002. The next summer heat really bothered me, but some of my symptoms were diminished. I was one of the unfortunate people in whom Copaxone took longer to start working. I feel that some of that was my fault. I had site reactions from the injections so every now and again I would take a two or three day break from injecting Copaxone. In February of 2003 I decided that this was not allowing my body to fully utilize the medication or become used to it. So I started injecting myself every day, faithfully.
Since then there has been vast improvement. I have more energy, less symptoms, and heat doesn’t bother me as much. Life has a new meaning for me, I actually have a life.