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What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Lou Stella Barron

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MS is possibly the most difficult disease to diagnose. The symptoms are vague and widespread mimicking other diseases. Symptoms depend on the area of the nerve damage with locations of the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms include:

1) Blurring or Double Vision (usually in one eye)
2) Patches of Body Numbness
3) General Weakness (usually one side of body)
4) Muscle Spasms
5) Fatigue
6) ‘Pins and Needles’ in extremities
7) Loss of Balance and Coordination
8) Cognitive (ability to think) difficulties
9) Overall Sensitivity to Extreme Heat or Cold
10) Loss of Sensation in Affected Extremity

More Advanced Symptoms include:

1) Speech difficulty
2) Irritable Bowel Syndrome
3) Difficult Urination
4) Loss of *** Desire
5) Paralysis

At first, Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are Episodic (off and on). The symptoms usually last 1-3 weeks, then you go into ‘Remission’ for a few months. Some individuals may have one Episode and go into Permanent Remission. Others will gradually experience Progressive symptoms. As MS Progresses, your Remission time will have Residual (remaining) symptoms from your last episode.

Generally, MS symptoms present around age 40. For those who are Diagnosed at an younger age, the symptoms can be more aggressive. This is a debilitating disease causing you to eventually be wheelchair bound.

My first symptoms occurred at age 39. It took 6 years to diagnose! I thought I was going crazy because no one could tell me what was going on. I had suffered for so long that when Multiple Sclerosis was finally diagnosed, I was actually relieved! I wasn't crazy!

I experienced Frustration and Depression as well as the strain of trying to work full time to support my 2 sons. We had no help, and I had full responsibility. Talk about PRESSURE! Thanks to my stubbornness I fought the good fight and kept us afloat until I was approved for Disability Income.

I really miss my career in Radiology, but it was a very Physical Profession, and I don't have the strength or coordination to continue. For the last 2 years I've been sitting around feeling sorry for myself, but my Survival Mode kicked in and I knew I had to find something to do with my time.

I'm happy to say that I found a Great Career that I can set my own hours and no Physical Activity is required. I can still help people, just in a different way. My biggest satisfactions in my career were the hugs and ‘thank you's’ from my patients. That's the part I miss the most. I will never be able to go back. My Multiple Sclerosis is Progressing with residual Remissions.

I take it one day at a time. Positive thinking and the support of my 2 sons has proven to help. Make the best out of everything, and you'll be fine!

I've been a single mom of two wonderful boys since 1994. I had to end my cherished 25 year career in the Radiology Profession due to Multiple Sclerosis. My boys have always been my greatest inspiration to keep me fighting and never giving up! I now, proudly, work from home!


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