Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Background & Diagnosis

Josh & Diana
Courage is often found standing right next to us, waiting patiently to be recognized. 

My name is Diana and my intentions in starting this blog are to share hope and fuel motivation to continue to achieve the best that life has to offer, despite our many challenges.

My older sister, Melene was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in July of 1998. So, in the fall of 2002 when I had a strong impression that my sudden and random symptoms were related; I knew I needed to get tested. 

Having an older sister with MS gave me a definite advantage, because I was already aware of the symptoms. I was scared though. 

I withdrew and focused on my new job, last semester in college as a transfer student, building a home and supporting my husband who was in his third month of a nine-month military deployment. However, by December ‘02, I was worse and I finally went to see a doctor, so it all began…

After seven laborious months of tests, waiting, more tests, and more waiting, I was finally diagnosed with MS on Friday June 13, 2003 (a few months after my husband came home from his military deployment). The diagnosis wasn’t real to me until I told my sister about it almost a month later.

My initial symptoms were: extreme fatigue, bladder urgency, migraines, dizziness, vision impairment stemming from optic neuritis, which included blurry, hazy, double vision, extreme light sensitivity and terrible pain when my eyes turned.

On many occasions, I was the one to administer Melene’s injections. I became aware of the various MS medications through talking with my sister and learning what she knew. 

I also studied a little about MS on my own. So, by the time I had my own symptoms and discussed treatment options with my physician, I already knew what treatment I felt would work for me.  

I began treatments three days after my diagnosis and to this day the side effects are still there. I can always count on flu-like symptoms, however the severity  differs every week. Sometimes it is bad and sometimes it’s not so bad. But I know it is worth it, because it is working. 

My magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI's), a core diagnosing test as well as continuous medical management tool, have confirmed that it is working.

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