About Me

Hi there!

First thing is first. I’d like to welcome you to my blog. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I have to say. It means the world to me.

So who am I?

My name is Heather and I’m from a small town in southeastern Ohio. We’re so southeastern, most people think we’re in West Virginia. I am a Forensic Grad Student who has an interest in helping the youth in our communities; wherever that may lead me.

I was initially diagnosed in 2006 when I was 22 years old. Diagnosed with what, exactly? No one knew at the time. With a history of Mulitple Sclerosis in my family, I didn’t need a confirmed diagnosis to know what was wrong with me. I spent the following seven years not allowing any kind of obstacle to defining me.

By 2013, I had a relapse that left me ill from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day 2014. I had to give in. I knew I had to give in to get a definite diagnosis. By June 2014; I knew definitely what I had known previously: Relapse- Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Why Have a Blog?

Well, I figured there were others out there going though the same journey or a similar one. I wanted to share my experiences and learn from others experiences as well.

We are brave. We are strong. We are fighters.

3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Heather,
    I started having symptoms in grade school. Our doctor told my mom I was nuts. Kept having loss of feeling in my legs and arms. But remember, I was already told I was just imagining things.

    Living on a dairy farm in southern IL, spent too much time out in the heat during the summers. Started helping bale hay (175+ pounds a bale) when I was 8 years old. By the time I started junior high school, woke up at 5 AM for morning milking. Caught the bus to school by 7 AM. Returned on the bus starting at 3 PM. Did chores for an hour and milked cows until 7:30 PM on a good night. Then returned to our house (across 2 fields) and ate supper. Then did homework! As a perfectionist, staying up till 10 PM was not unusual for me. Graduated top of my class. Thankfully received a scholarship to attend college out of state (no coming home for baling)!

    Left for college at the wise old age of 17. Ended up acquiring a drinking problem (remember my age?). Run was my drink of choice. Completed my assignments best when I was drunk off my ass! Wasn’t until memorial day my sophomore year that I woke up to the fact I had an out of control drinking problem. My 3 room mates where gone for the long weekend, so I dumped all my alcohol down the kitchen sink. The D.T.’s set in. At least I had the bathroom to my self! Barfed up everything I had ever ate in my life repeatedly.

    Now sober, my grades started to drop. Survived until my senior year when my back kept going out. Started visiting a chiropractor. After months of him working on my back, he sent me to get an M.R.I..

    Was a needle phobic, so after being closed up in a noisy machine with my head strapped down they pulled me out of the tube to try and stick a hideously shaped needle in my arm! I jumped off the table immediately! My head was still strapped down, so they had to help me get out.

    Went to my next scheduled chiropractor’s appointment to find an empty waiting room (normally was full). The nurse called me in and escorted me to the exam room. I started to get my shoes off like normal, but she stopped me. Telling me to wait until the chiropractor came in to talk to me. My heart was pounding furiously as I waited. He came in to explain that because I had not let then inject contrast into my body he could not give me a definite diagnoses. I either had spinal cancer or multiple sclerosis. He told me there would be no charge for the day’s visit. I just needed to reschedule a M.R.I. and get an appointment with a neurologist. The ladies at the front desk could help me with that.

    Got the second test scheduled with a sedative this time so I could sleep through the test. The man I married the day after I graduated from college took me for the procedure. Woke up before they finished, but was only about a half hour left. So I endured until the end.

    My appointment for the neurologist was over a week later. My husband went with me so we could get the answer together. The doctor was a little confused when I started crying after he told me I had relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. He kept saying it was not a death sentence! I laughed and told him it proves I am not nuts like the doctor back at home told me I was.

    After getting the diagnoses, let my mom know what I had. She passed the information on to the rest of the family who had similar problems. My mom, my aunt (her sister), my two female cousins (her daughters), my grandmother (her mom) probably had it but died before she could be tested. So it runs in my family. Why we do not have any kids.

    Am now permanently confined to a wheelchair. Get a drug called Tysabri every 28 days. Gives me coordination for about a week. My neurologist up here says I have switched over to being retrogressive relapsing multiple sclerosis. Used to be a network engineer before loosing the ability to walk. Am now on social security disability. Hate it!

    Cannot handle heat any more. If I get over heated I have grand mal seizures. Not my preferred way of making my body move! About scared my husband to death the So first time it happened. We have been married for over 20 years now. So the disease doesn’t have to cause your relationships to fail!

    Like

  2. Heather,
    Yesterday, I was suffering from a strange case of optic neuritis that was literally making me start falling out of my wheelchair to the left side. Try typing when you are sliding out of your chair!

    What my neurologist has now classified my disease as is Progressive Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. He told me it was a normal progression from my relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis that I had been correctly diagnosed with years ago.

    Isn’t life fun! Started out on Avonex, then relocated twice. In Colorado, Dr. Bowling kept me on Avonex until my body started having negative blood tests. He switched me to Rebif, then Copoxone, (intramuscular injections work best for me personally hate sub cutaneous ones) then I relocated to WI.

    No neurologists in the area where I lived. Was in pain and had no decent employment. Ended up calling a friend back from Missouri to tell her good by because I was going to commit suicide. She kept me on the phone while her husband contacted the state police where I lived. She made me promise to write a letter to my husband saying good bye. So we disconnected.

    Already had the letter written before I ever called her. So I got the drugs I planed on using together and someone started pounding on my front door. Figured some idiot was having car trouble or was lost, so I answered the door. Was a state trooper coming to take me away to a mental hospital in Minnesota (at least he was taking me out of WI!! Grabbed a change of clothes like he told me to and then he escorted me out to his waiting squad car.

    Took years and several more relocations before my husband and I were back on the same page. Am now on a drug called Tysabri and taking an anti depressant called Cymbalta like I used to back In CO. Am very happy with our current location. Love the neighbors. No plans of relocating until they cremate my body!

    Like

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