Here's a little story, all about how...
I've had a history of migraines. I can remember back to 2012 when I had one so bad, I vomited. Gross? Of course not, that's natural. I've been seeing a neurologist since I was at least 19. No, I'm not crazy. Even then I'd reported nerve related symptoms so I'll say, I probably should have been diagnosed before then 2014. But maybe not. Maybe the timing was just right.
I had Bells Palsy. You all remember that partial facial paralysis moment? #screwface #twoface Listen, waking up to a numb face is not my idea of a good time. Thankfully my PCP got me started, immediately, on running test, seeing a neurologist and starting speech therapy. My Neurologist, at the time, noted the potential of optic neuritis (symptom of MS).
I had my first, notable, flare that led to the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Numbness on the left side of my upper body on Easter Day. I'd gone to Urgent Care but they didn't have any way to really 'check' me. I traveled back to NJ the next day, feeling uneasy because the numbness had progressed. So, instead of going to work, I went to the hospital. They took me in immediately, began running tests and before I left that evening, I was 99% sure I had Multiple Sclerosis. A few weeks later, I had an appointment with a new Neurologist. He stated that based on my MRI I wasn't going home and instead I was being admitted to the hospital to begin a steroid treatment. Things begin to feel better shortly thereafter.
I had a small flare, numbness of my foot. By this time I was seeing an MS specialist. There facility allowed me to come in, do a quick steroid treatment (outpatient) and I felt better.
I'm Pregnant. So, I have to stop my medication. They say, pregnant women have less symptoms when they're pregnant but may relapse, harder, post partum. July 2017, I had a healthy baby boy and began treatment again in December 2017.
I cam home for the MS Walk and was preparing to head back to Puerto Rico, for work. But, I began feeling numbness around my midsection and legs so I went to the Emergency Room. I wanted to be sure before I go to PR and had to be admitted. They treated me for Potassium and Magnesium. Oh yeah, and I'm pregnant again! As days progressed, so did the numbness. So that theory that women don't have symptoms during pregnancy went right out the window. I was hospitalized for 7 days, doing a steroid treatment with a most uncertain recovery. A few days in, I woke with limited mobility and function in my arms and hands. Stiffness, numbness and weakness hand taken over. I hadn't gotten better, I'd gotten worse.
I came home and began my recovery. Over time, my legs had regained that loss of sensation. My arms still had some weakness. My hands were still numb. I started doing exercises with OT and PT to conquer the stiffness. Ultimately, I made a full recovery with some small moments of weakness.
Numbness is a thing. It's not fun, but it's a thing. Once again, post baby and not being back on meds yet, I'm having a flare. It wasn't BAD but significant enough that I needed to do another treatment. The difference, COVID diagnosis are coming in. The emergency room was packed. I waited almost 9 hours in the ER before I got a room to start my treatment.
2021.... I'm still standing!