It's Been A Long Journey That Just Started

I was diagnosed in August of 2008 at the age of 27.  In July of 08, I started having numbness and stinging in my right foot which quickly spread to my entire right and left legs to the hip.  This is not the first time I had experienced this so I decided to see a doctor.  I had several blood tests performed to check for vitamin deficiencies, STDs, etc.  Everything came back negative.  I was sent in for an MRI and X-ray of my spine to check for a pinched nerve.  There was no pinched nerve but they found lesions.  I was then scheduled for a brain MRI which showed more lesions.  After finding the lesions, I was sent to a neurologist who ordered a spinal tap.  I had positive o-bands in the fluid.  A week later I was diagnosed with MS and started taking Rebif shots.

During the time I was having these tests performed, about a month, my symptoms quickly progressed.  I started having weakness in my legs, balance issues, severe neuropathy, memory problems, bowel/bladder problems, swallowing difficulties, fatigue, heat sensitivity, etc.  I was stuck in a wheelchair half the time and using a cane the other. I was also finishing a college degree at the time, preparing to find a job in Information Systems.  Since my problems were so severe and happened so quickly, there was no way I would be able to find a job at the time.  My doctor suggested I apply for disability.  

My symptoms never got better, some actually got worse.  I started getting severely depressed and was admitted to the psych ward of the local hospital a total of three times.  I developed major depression and psychosis.  The medical bills started adding up into the thousands and I was putting a huge strain on my wife.  I was finally approved for disability in March of 09.  I have been on so many different medications for my physical and mental problems, none of which I can say really helped much.  Things eventually got better, but nothing went away.  I still have all of the above, sometimes they are tolerable, sometimes I feel like I am dying.

I will be seeing a specialist at Duke University who will try to develop a better plan of action for management of my symptoms.  I have no clue what the future holds, I don't remain very hopeful though.  I know it could be worse, but it could also be better.  I don't feel that others truly understand what I am going through and I feel as though they have given up on me.  I just hope I don't give up too.

mutesounds mutesounds
26-30, M
4 Responses Feb 15, 2010

Hey, do you have silver fillings? Mine caused 70 symptoms of MS: from ataxia, numbness of my toes, "a burning brain," loss of peripheral vision, memory loss, chronic fatigue, and a host of other symptoms. <br />
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This is because silver fillings are 50-70% mercury, which is released into the body as ethylmercury vapor. Anywhere from 3-29 micrograms of mercury are released by these fillings every day. The symptoms of MS and mercury poisoning are effectively the same. I got them removed and most of my symptoms are gone, I just have to spend a few years getting rid of the residual mercury from my tissues. Believe me or not, I honestly don't care. It's not going to be the case for everyone. I just know it worked for me. <br />
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Also if you've been exposed to a lot of thimerosal from vaccines, this could have triggered it. Also the government is now admitting that Hepatitis B vaccines can trigger demyelinating diseases. Check out the FDA's website if you want to confirm there is mercury in vaccines. No level is safe, considering it's more toxic than lead and arsenic. It is the most toxic non-radioactive substance known to man.

I completely feel your pain. I was diagnosed with MS in Feb of 08 at the age of 26. I also started out with numb and tingling toes....then by the next morning I was numb from the belly button down. It is a struggle, and I have had many of the same issues that you have...but we just have to be strong and fight the best way we can. I hate that I am 28 and sometimes i have to use a cane when i want to go somewhere. But i finally decided to swallow my pride and do what I have to do for me. Keep your chin up.

Also,.....you need to correct : "I" WAS PUTTING A HUGE STRAIN ON MY WIFE",..........You mean:,..."THIS" was putting a huge strain on my wife & me"

Don't give up! I certainly understand. I just turned 38(f) & was diagnosed w/MS when I was 26. I have experienced EVERY single thing you have mentioned. I have been hospitalized many times & have gone through 4 different MS medications thus far. I experienced suicidal thoughts for the first time in my life in 07' when I was on Rebif (which I know was a consequence to that drug as it was the first thing the dr. from the co. asked me/in addition to RLS, which I was also diagnosed with at that time). I reeeeeally feel for you & understand. I also reeeally need to stress to you that I know you had to have lost alot of confidence in yourself because I really believe this takes a much bigger toll on men than women.(I'm sure there are people who might not like that I am saying that! (Too Bad!). Not that this will make you feel any better but I have exceeded $35k out of pocket expenses since early 07' so that part I understand too! You are certainly right when you say: "I don't feel that others truly understand what I am going through". It's not their fault. They can NEVER understand EXACTLY how we feel but I'm sure they try. I think it is difficult on everybody. I think it is good for you to express how you feel here to others that can better understand. It's also good to get feedback. As far as the depression,...that is totally understandable. I have gone through it myself several times. Can ya blame us???....MS has been enough to drive me nuts & I'm not ashamed to say it. They actually had me on suicide watch when I was in the hospital Sept. 09. MS is certaimly not limited to physical challenges. I think the psychological challenges are worse. I just want you to know that EVERYTHING you are talking about is understandable. I have learned to empower myself on the good days (what ones I have) & acknowledge that you need help on the bad days to get through it. I see a psychiatrist & most importantly, I see a psychologist that I look forward to talking to. He has helped me a great deal. Do not deny your feelings. They are real. I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING YOU ARE TRYING TO DEAL WITH. It's very scary I know. Atleast give yourself enough credit to know that you need help! I love how 73 people have viewed your post & not one has posted a comment! (WHIMPS!). You can talk to me ANYTIME!,......Don't give up,..believe me I know it is so tough. The needles,wheelchair,cane,dr visits, medical/hospital bills,..all of it. Hey, if ya ever have any questions on insurance let me know. I worked for Prudential & Blue Cross Blue Shield for years. There's not really an insurance/investment question that I can't help with. I think we need to be very supportive of each other. I think it's the best thing we can do in a terrible situation. I hope I helped! Chin Up! Cheryl