I had my first MS episode in 1990 when I was a senior in college. I was unable to walk and went to see my doctor. I was diagnosed then with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder related to MS. My doctor basically said there was a 50-50 chance that I would have MS, stay away from stress and have a good day.
I left with that and a lot of fear that it would return. I would fall asleep every night wondering if the next day was going to be the one I couldnt walk. Then I changed my strategy and decided to focus on what was good and working every day instead of what wasnt. I decided to put it out of my mind.
In 1994 I had another episode. My doctor told me he could give me medication, but it was a lottery system and I didnt feel right taking medication from people who had serious problems. I was in grad school and I didnt get diagnosed because my doctor didnt want me to carry that label at such a young age.
Then in 2001, I had more symptoms. The right side of my face and body went numb. That was when I was officially diagnosed. One of the reasons it took so long was that I was in denial. I went to the doctor by myself and didnt even think about having my partner go with me. I just wanted to find out for myself. I was on automatic pilotI was not thinking of the future because it was too overwhelming.
After the numbness went away, I didnt have outward symptoms for a long time. Then, over the course of three years, an insidious fatigue crept into my life. I had been promoted to a managerial position at work and was working about 70 hours a week.