I have MS. I was diagnosed at 27. I had many years including my teens where I had symptoms. At 20 I bought my first business. My passion was floral design. My specialty was weddings. I have done wedding design and coordination for 13 years now. I had a great reputation and was highly in demand. For a few years things would happen like double vision that would come and go and numbness mainly on my left side. I had considerable fatigue, I just thought I was tired from working 7 days a week, I mean who wouldn't be. I was very involved in my community chairing many events and merchant associations. I was out to make a difference and a name for myself. It got to a point that I knew my MS was not letting up and looked as though it never would. I made a decision to close the business and sell my building. It was so hard. My struggle then became so public, constantly having to explain to everyone that I wasn't quitting business because we weren't making money, that I was sick. I was so scared of how I would be perceived. When you are the one person a bride trusts to make her day perfect, you don't break that trust. I was having short term memory problems and knew deep down if I continued, I would make a mistake that could ruin a wedding and that seemed unforgivable. After I got everything taken care of I felt empty. I have a fabulous, supportive husband and a great family and 2 gorgeous kids, but I felt like part of me was taken away. I had daily migranes and extreme pain that no meds were able to control. After seeing doctor after doctor and being sent to Mayo Clinic I found myself being suffocated. I was in such a deep depression. A day didn't go by when I didn't think that my family would be better off without me. I told my husband on many occasions to find a way to kill me, he thought I was joking. There were days upon days I didn't get out of bed but to go to the bathroom. Many days I couldn't even make myself shower. Everything was a huge effort that seemed impossible to complete. My son was in pre-k and I can't even begin to tell you how many days of school he missed because I couldn't make myself drive him there. I was such a horrible mom and wife. I don't know how my husband was able to put up with me. December 2 years ago I got fed up with everything. Doctors who didn't get me and couldn't understand what was wrong, so I rebelled. I quit going to the doctor and quit taking my MS shots and pretty much all my medication. I was done. If noone was going to listen then why bother. What is funny is that in a few weeks I started feeling better! By March I had felt better than I had in years! I don't think anyone understands just how bad the side effects are of some of these medications. I found myself in what I consider a remission. I finally realized how horrible I was and what a mess I had become. I have always been a strong person and I let something else control me! I became my disease, I let it take over.
Today I realize this is not an easy disease to deal with. I have been through hell medically. I have had 5 surgeries and we now know that MS could very well be the reason I had horrible pregnancies and had to have a hysterectomy at 25 and a bladder suspension at 27. On January 23rd I face the biggest surgery yet. I have to have a 3 level lumbar fusion. I am scared, there are many issues and complications possible. I have a different outlook now than just a short time ago. I have to learn to live again. I have to make my childrens childhood good and full of love, happiness and great life experiences. Today I am not worried about silly things. My goal is making sure that my kids get to travel, with their parents and have great memories to share with their kids. Traveling isn't always easy on my physically, but it is so worth it. Spending time with my husband, just the two of us. I owe him so much for his support. Being true to myself and those around me and not worrying about the small stuff. I know that one day I may not walk and have the opportunities I do now, so today I have to work to make things happen. My motto is ~ Live for today, laugh everyday and love like there is no tomorrow. Thats all I can do!