- Posted August 11, 2012 by
Manchester, New Hampshire
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living with MS
A life of uncertainty
On Memorial Day weekend of 1987, I had my first attack of Multiple Sclerosis. I was 23 years old. In addition, I found out that I was pregnant. I was encouraged to put the child up for adoption, since at the time stress from childbearing and child rearing were thought to be detrimental to a the health of a woman with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
I chose to ignore the advice and diagnosis and continued on with my life and bore two more children. In 1996 I became a divorced mother of three young boys.
I suffered from optic neuritis, amazing bouts of insurmountable fatigue and mood swings, followed by blurry vision and bouts of urinary incontinence.
Finally, in April of 2012, I was sent to a neurologist who finally after a lumbar puncture confirmed my diagnosis and was able to prescribe a few medications that helped with symptom management.
Upon notifying my employer of two years of my diagnosis, I was laid off. Not to worry, in less than two months I found a part time position which fit my skills as a paralegal and my diagnosis.
After working just 4 short days, the fatigue was overwhelming. I fell on a sidewalk giving me a concussion, broken elbow, scrapes and bruises.
Not to worry, tho, my employer fired me due to my inability to work. He also withheld approximately $150. from my check to change the locks on his door, since he must have believed that a disabled woman with a broken arm weighing 120 pounds was in some way a threat to him. I am no longer eligible for unemployment due to my broken arm. I have no source of income and no longer have health insurance.
I was told by the kind folks at the social security disability office that I do not meet the criteria to apply since I have shown the ability to work in the past four quarters.
To sum up, being diagnosed with a chronic progressive disease which takes away your eyesight and ability to be mobile or even dress oneself is devastating. However, the worst part of the disease is not knowing what each day will bring...will I be able to see?...will I be able to walk? am I making any sense when I speak?
Hope for a better tomorrow and enjoy whatever you are able each day.