Happy 1st MS-iversary to me!

by tinglyfeeling on March 26, 2009

green tea candleThis post could also be titled, “How Old is This Mascara?” Because I was buying mascara when I got the phone call from my neurologist about the results for my second MRI.

That wasn’t the diagnosis phone call, though. That was the, “It’s either bad news, really bad news, or inoperable-tumor-on-your-spine news” phone call. Not the kind of call you want to get in the Nordstrom cosmetics department. So I took it outside to the sidewalk.

The bad option was Transverse Myelitis, a virus that could possibly have gone away, and the really bad option was MS. I still didn’t believe it was MS. I was crossing my fingers that it was this crazy virus, which still sounded pretty scary. But then again, I said to the doctor, my sister has MS and it doesn’t seem like the end of the world….

“You don’t want to have MS,” he said.

After we hung up, I went back inside the store and bought my mascara. (The sales girl was really nice; she later sent me a thank-you card for buying the mascara, with something cute written about how my lashes would be the envy of all my friends.) I left the store and called my best friend while standing on the sky bridge above 6th Avenue, watching the traffic pass below.

I started experiencing symptoms in fall 2007, when I was in physical therapy for an injured knee, which then aggravated “nerve damage” in my right leg, supposedly caused by an old ankle sprain (I am accident prone). But then the PT started to make my left leg go numb, so the therapist sent me to a neurologist.

The third MRI happened on Friday, March 26, 2008. The doctor called with the results that same night so I wouldn’t have to wait out the weekend: about 20 inactive lesions on my brain. “I hate having to give news like this,” he kept saying. Boo fucking hoo, I kept thinking. This is your job. He’s not my neurologist anymore.

Many doctor visits, three MRIs and one very surreal year later, here I am. My symptoms from the original exacerbation have never completely gone away. It’s crazy to remember a time not so long ago when I wasn’t aware every day that I have Multiple Sclerosis. That reality has been supplanted by this one.

Anyway, it’s time to throw out that mascara. It’s waaay past its shelf life.

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  • http://lazyjulie.blogspot.com/ Julie

    Happy Anniversary! It’s been about a year and a half for me and I have to say, the second year is easier so far. It’s like I’m in the MS groove, or something. I’ve been through each annual event with MS and I’m still laughing. To me, she who is laughing at the end of the day is the winner. The closing line of your post tells me that you are winner, too.
    Julie
    http://lazyjulie.blogspot.com

  • http://lazyjulie.blogspot.com Julie

    Happy Anniversary! It’s been about a year and a half for me and I have to say, the second year is easier so far. It’s like I’m in the MS groove, or something. I’ve been through each annual event with MS and I’m still laughing. To me, she who is laughing at the end of the day is the winner. The closing line of your post tells me that you are winner, too.
    Julie
    http://lazyjulie.blogspot.com

  • http://www.melizzard.com/ Melizzard

    Isn’t it funny how the little things imprint on use like that. I’d be just crazy enough to go back and buy new mascara on that day every year. I tend to create crazy superstitions that way. It took a couple of years for my first residual symptoms to go away and I think I was told they never would but they did. It was my fingers and I the residual tingling went away so slowly that I didn’t notice – just one day I thought of it and realized they were no longer tingly. Well for all it’s worth, happy anniversary and here’s hoping that the next sees you well.

  • http://www.melizzard.com Melizzard

    Isn’t it funny how the little things imprint on use like that. I’d be just crazy enough to go back and buy new mascara on that day every year. I tend to create crazy superstitions that way. It took a couple of years for my first residual symptoms to go away and I think I was told they never would but they did. It was my fingers and I the residual tingling went away so slowly that I didn’t notice – just one day I thought of it and realized they were no longer tingly. Well for all it’s worth, happy anniversary and here’s hoping that the next sees you well.

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Thanks, Melizzard! I hope I’ll experience that happy, “hey, no tingly feeling!” realization one day, too.

    I’m also weirdly superstitious. I saved the mascara even though I’d stopped using it (it was all dry and cakey) just so I could throw it out on the 26th. heh. I already got a replacement a couple months ago.

    I like the idea of an anniversary tradition, though. Maybe it could be a time to make a resolution for the following 365 days. This year’s resolution: slow down and appreciate life more. ;-)

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Thanks, Melizzard! I hope I’ll experience that happy, “hey, no tingly feeling!” realization one day, too.

    I’m also weirdly superstitious. I saved the mascara even though I’d stopped using it (it was all dry and cakey) just so I could throw it out on the 26th. heh. I already got a replacement a couple months ago.

    I like the idea of an anniversary tradition, though. Maybe it could be a time to make a resolution for the following 365 days. This year’s resolution: slow down and appreciate life more. ;-)

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Thanks, Julie!

    It’s good to be considered a winner. heh. I don’t always *feel* like a winner, but it’s nice of you to say so.

    Lisa Emrich also told me that it gets easier after the first year. I hope you guys are right. I hope it starts to feel less surreal and more routine. Time will tell, I suppose.

    Thanks for reading. xo

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Thanks, Julie!

    It’s good to be considered a winner. heh. I don’t always *feel* like a winner, but it’s nice of you to say so.

    Lisa Emrich also told me that it gets easier after the first year. I hope you guys are right. I hope it starts to feel less surreal and more routine. Time will tell, I suppose.

    Thanks for reading. xo

  • http://beyonditall.net/ carla

    Happy anniversary. I’m going on my third month so far and each day has a new surprise. I’m still a newbie and have a lot to learn and experience in this. My neuro also told me how much he hated giving me this news. I guess he was really hoping that a 30 year old woman who loves to run would be OK. I actually appreciated his compassion; he’s still human unlike a lot of doctors I’ve come across.

  • http://beyonditall.net carla

    Happy anniversary. I’m going on my third month so far and each day has a new surprise. I’m still a newbie and have a lot to learn and experience in this. My neuro also told me how much he hated giving me this news. I guess he was really hoping that a 30 year old woman who loves to run would be OK. I actually appreciated his compassion; he’s still human unlike a lot of doctors I’ve come across.

  • http://www.TheMSBlog.com/ Jackie

    I had hoped like crazy that it was Transverse Myelitis. Man o man did I hope for that. But here I am 2.5 years in…and the same things cross through my mind…how was life before this? What was it like before I was reminded every single day that I’m “sick”.

    Its sad that only 2.5 years in…I really can’t remember. And I think thats because being healthy is one of the great cliches of life that we “take for granted” we don’t remember what it was like to be healthy because thats how it is supposed to be. We’re not supposed to have to think twice about it.

  • http://www.TheMSBlog.com Jackie

    I had hoped like crazy that it was Transverse Myelitis. Man o man did I hope for that. But here I am 2.5 years in…and the same things cross through my mind…how was life before this? What was it like before I was reminded every single day that I’m “sick”.

    Its sad that only 2.5 years in…I really can’t remember. And I think thats because being healthy is one of the great cliches of life that we “take for granted” we don’t remember what it was like to be healthy because thats how it is supposed to be. We’re not supposed to have to think twice about it.

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Carla & Jackie — Thanks for your comments.

    It still feels new to me, even though I do strain to remember “normal” now. The surprises will keep coming, I think. So now I don’t take the good/healthy days for granted, but I don’t expect them to last, either. I didn’t feel sick this morning, but now I do. I hope that eventually I’ll be able to appreciate the good days without worrying about the bad ones lurking around the corner. Because that’s kind of a crap way to live.
    xoxo

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/ tinglyfeeling

    Carla & Jackie — Thanks for your comments.

    It still feels new to me, even though I do strain to remember “normal” now. The surprises will keep coming, I think. So now I don’t take the good/healthy days for granted, but I don’t expect them to last, either. I didn’t feel sick this morning, but now I do. I hope that eventually I’ll be able to appreciate the good days without worrying about the bad ones lurking around the corner. Because that’s kind of a crap way to live.
    xoxo

  • http://trusted.md/feed/items/lkemrich/2009/03/26/carnival_of_ms_bloggers_32_montel_edition Trusted.MD Network

    Carnival of MS Bloggers #32 – Montel Edition…

    Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis….

  • http://www.tinglyfeeling.com/symptoms/new-sensations/ new sensations

    [...] whole business with the MS originated in my lower right leg. As far as I know, anyway. The numbness mostly affects my mid-to-outer shin and wraps around to [...]

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