Diagnosed in 2004
"I want to welcome to your MS resource for the Greater Redding Area. As a 15 year veteran of dealing with MS, I am committed to gathering and serving our fellow community members who are facing a life affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
My goal is that no one should fall through the cracks, become isolated or lose hope in handling this crazy and unpredictable disease, which is exactly what happened to me.
After a year of experiencing constant numbness and tingling in my left hand, what once was thought to be work issue from working on the computer, became something much different. An MRI of my neck was supposed to show a pinched nerve affecting my hand, instead it showed little white spots on my spinal cord where the nerves were actually being disintegrated. Just a couple months later, a spinal tap would confirm the suspicions of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
After a year of trying to handle Rebif injections and the side effects and losing access to two neurologists, I basically decided it was time to just handle things myself. I had relapses here and there, but mostly they would resolve after time and I would keep plugging away at life, although the fatigue would dramatically limit my commitments and aspirations.
Fast forward to now, 12 years after diagnosis, a sudden an overwhelming relapse took me out of the game, put a walker in my hands and also put a drive in me to embrace and pursue my disease, no longer brushing it aside as a nagging fly trying to get into my soup.
My new journey of research and seeking out tangible resources led me to discover I could have access to MS Specialists, though be it a long drive from Redding. I have used the internet as my 12th man, have re-established my health care with a knowledgeable health care team and have begun to surround myself with others that understand the ups and downs of every hour of every day.
But most important, I have learned how, along with MS, you can experience more than one chronic disease at the same time. If you have never heard of this, let me introduce you to the word comorbidity. After 15 years of confusing signs and symptoms, we have determined I also suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis, which is also a relapsing-remitting immune-mediated disease. Yes, I am on overachiever! And the journey continues...
What Does Hope Mean to You?
To me, hope is something I want to give, using my experiences and knowledge to help others find encouragement in their life with MS.