It's about time I write something to introduce myself!
I was diagnosed in the very beginning of 1990. It all started with vertigo, double vision, trouble swallowing, weakness on one side of my body, extreme nausea. I couldn't even stand and, after a couple of days not being able to keep even water down, I ended up in hospital.
A week, and numerous tests, later they'd managed to stabilize me enough to go home. I had an MRI before leaving the hospital, as the CAT scan didn't show anything that could help with a diagnosis. When the results came back from Boston a week later (!) the doctor decided it was MS. I went to Boston and had further tests but all they did was confirm the diagnosis of RRMS.
For the next couple of months I wore a patch over one eye because of the double vision, couldn't drive, had trouble walking and my (then) husband had to do all the cooking, since I couldn't even stand for long. By the time all the symptoms had passed and I was pretty much back to normal, we'd come to a decision. It was time to leave Massachusetts, so we headed to Arizona!
Over the next few years I had about three relapses, with different symptoms for each one. I tried Betaseron, then Copaxone, then Aubagio and finally Tecfidera, which is what I take now, along with duloxetine and modafinil. There have also been a string of other medications along the way (Amantadine, oxybutynin, tolterodine, imipramine, Dilantin, Tegretol, clonazepam, gabapentin, nortriptyline, tizanidine, Ampyra, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Antivert) - did someone say walking pharmacy?!
For years (while I was on the Copaxone and after I came off of it) I had no relapses at all. If I overdid it with physical stuff (gardening, cleaning, etc.) I'd suffer for a couple of days with fatigue and maybe some dizziness or swallowing and balance problems. But, for the most part, I was doing great.
Then, about 2 1/2 years ago, I had another relapse - major trouble walking and lifting my legs, dizziness, pain, neuropathy in my feet/legs and hands/arms. I offered to help my mom out after my dad died, so I packed up and came back to Massachusetts. At that time, I was in such bad shape that I had to get an airport employee to push me in a wheelchair at both ends of the journey. I wondered how I was going to take care of my mother when I could hardly take care of myself!
That was then... this is now. I'm doing MUCH better, even though we've both had some problems and bouts in the hospital. I hate the humid summers and the freezing winters here, but spring and autumn provide some relief. One day I will return to Arizona, but this is where I have to be now.
Hope you've been taking notes as there will be a test on Friday!