Four miles. 36 minutes. Energy to spare. Monday morning. I could have pushed for at least one or two more miles but time constraints stopped me.
Could my diagnosis be accurate? I guess that question is answered by the second opinion we sought and received last week. Two neurologists, one being more specialized, looked at my MRI’s, listened to my symptoms, tested reflexes, reviewed my lab work, and independently agreed. I have multiple sclerosis. Talk about a gut punch!
Symptoms? Not many and the ones I do have are easily brushed off as trivial. We discovered something was not quite right after I injured my shoulder doing kettle bell swings. My hand tingled and went numb. I could barely hold a pen or pencil three weeks after the workout.
To see what we were dealing with, my family practitioner ordered a MRI of my spine and then a second MRI that included my brain. I successfully did physical therapy, which greatly helped the thoracic outlet syndrome that the workout caused. I visited a neurosurgeon (for a disc situation), who saw the abnormal MRI but believed I should have major symptoms if the two lesions were active. The neurologist ran me through the whole ‘look here, tiptoes, feel this poke?, etc’ and noted a few things, but none were anything that seemed abnormal to me. He explained that I needed a lumbar puncture and blood work.
Still no major symptoms. I started running a few miles five days a week. Cue the waiting for test results. We went on vacation for a week to South Carolina to see family.
And then… BAM! It looks like MS. No family history of it and no symptoms although my hand is still occasionally a bit slower and doughy feeling. Second opinion with a MS specialist confirmed it. I’m awaiting more blood results to start medication in about 10 days. So, now it is out there.
I am blessed. My MS is in the very very early stages – only one active lesion and one inactive lesion. I am incredibly healthy and virtually without major symptoms. The medication options now available are amazing for slowing the progression to the point that I may never have any disability. This will not hold me down. I will still do my half marathon. I will continue to be an active mother to my two beautiful young children. I am still a loving wife with much to contribute to our relationship and our business.
If you’ve never read ‘Footprints in the Sand’, look it up. It sums up the past week’s emotions.
I am blessed.
Goal for tomorrow is 3 miles.
Coming Soon: A Humorous Look at the Worst Things Said to Someone Who Has Just Received A Crappy Diagnosis. No really, someone did say that…