Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Hello, there nice to meet you (NOT!)

5 years went by before that mischief monster called MS reared its ugly head again. I'd like to say they were 5 blissful years of ignorance but that wouldn't be life would it?.  Not in reality, well unless your really lucky. Actually the past 5 years have had lots of stresses but more then that a lot of wonderful things have happened too and that's the important stuff, the stuff that makes the wonderful memories.

I left my Job at at the hospital after 7 years and moved on to pastures new. I got a job as a practice nurse in a GP surgery which was the best thing I could of done. I love my job, I still moan about getting up on a Monday morning and all the usual stuff but I work with a great team of nurses who I have become great friends with too.  The only down side to my new job was the terms for sick leave, there not half as good as when working for the hospital. Although both NHS, GP surgeries are run as small business I suppose, so they can't offer the same benefits a large NHS trust can. At the time I took the job  I  thought "that'll be alright, I'm fine, I really don't think I'll need much time off, I am rarely sick". But fate laughs evilly "mwah ha ha ha ha , you wait my pretty, just you wait......"

In 2006 we decided to get ourselves a dog, and this is when Spike came into our lives. We found him on a Dog rescue site called Dog Pages (cuteness warning! Don't look at this site unless you want to adopt!) after reading what his foster owner said about him, we thought he sounded perfect for us. So off we went, 160 miles (ish) to Monmouth in Wales to get him. Spike has been fantastic, when we've been stressed and fed up he has really helped to keep us smiling. What's even better is when my feet are freezing and feel like two ice blocks he's great to warm them up on! Pete and Spike, keep me smiling and my heart happy.

So I moved jobs, we got Spike and to add to more happy memories I married My Pete. We got married in November 2008. It was a wonderful day apart from the fact the weather was awful. Rain, rain, rain and oh more rain. That didn't spoil our day, the saying goes a rainy bride is a lucky bride, have you heard that? Not sure if I agree, maybe it means your lucky in love and if that's the case well I am more than lucky. But that's enough slush, my story continues and takes a turn for the worst...

We had been married little over a year when I noticed some strange things occurring. My skin felt painful. when I was getting dressed or if I touched my skin it really hurt. I mentioned it to hubby and then thought I was going mad because when he touched my skin, no pain? How bizarre? We then clicked his hands were warm and mine felt cold, so it was the cold sensation that was hurting me, how strange.  I didn't really think much of it though until I developed pins and needles down my right arm which in a couple of days had spread to my whole right side. Now the alarm bells were ringing in a loud chorus in my head. I kept trying to think of other reasons I would be getting these symptoms but I kept coming back to the same back to the same sinking feeling..I think it's MS. I tried to push that thought away but after a week, there was no improvement so on the Friday  Hubby and I trotted off to see my GP. After explaining all, she decided to do a blood test and wanted me back in a week. I told her my fears and with hope asked could there be another reason for the pins and needles but alas she confirmed my fears and although yes other problems could cause similar symptoms,  in my case she felt it looked like MS. 

I think we were both more gutted then shocked, well I know I was.  We had known it was always a possibility but had desperately hoped the MS would keep itself tucked away for many  many years. But no such luck. The following morning Pete went off to work, I'd asked my parents to pop over, I was going to let them know I'd been to the GP and what had been said. I hadn't really told them about my symptoms (a bad pattern I was going to get myself into, hiding symptoms) . I was waiting for them to come over and it all hit me, oh my god I've got to tell them this is more then likely MS. I  fell apart. In floods of tears I called up hubby, why had we thought I'd be alright doing this on my own? doh! Bless him he came rushing home with arms open wide, for that big hug I really did need. By the time my parents came over I'd got myself together. Pete did all the explaining and you can imagine their reaction. It shattered their world. That has been one of the hardest things watching my parents hearts break. It was really hard but the dreaded deed was done and now we all just had to wait for some answers. Oh joy.

The following Friday we went back to see my GP. I was quite impressed with her. She told me she had been thinking about me that week and she had dome some more reading about MS!. Looking back at my previous history and my recent symptoms she felt this was MS and she would be referring me back to the neurologists. So it was well and truly out there now, no going back. MS had arrived and was here to stay. Nice to meet you, NOT!

I got to see the Neurology consultant in the January. The 22nd to be exact, these dates are hard to forget don't you think? It was a different Dr to who I saw originally and I have to say I was glad, not that there was anything wrong with the previous Neurologist I just found this new Dr a lot more reassuring.  She confirmed that now "I qualified for MS". I thought wow, I'll add that to my CV shall I... thinking about it may be not.  We discussed lots of things, such as the big old question "What about having a baby?", and we got all the usual reassurances, that life should go on,there's no reason why you shouldn't have a baby, it's not hereditary etc. I'll be doing a separate blog about the trials and tribulations of the baby question, it's certainly not a simple question for us or should I say the journey into parenthood if we're lucky is not going to be a simple one even without MS in the equation.

We asked the consultant about having another MRI, but she felt this was unnecessary and could potentially do more harm then good. In her view she did not see the need in doing one because we know that I had multiple lesions on my previous scan, we know what symptoms I have and we know I have MS., so what would we gain from the MRI. If it was found I had even more lesions, what would that accomplish? How would I feel? My answer to her was, not a lot and it t would probably freak me out even more. In her opinion unless there was an obvious need, the MRI had no significance now because it's not going to change the diagnosis or our course of action at the time. So where did we go from there?  Nowhere really, she said I could have steroids to see if that sped up my recovery from the relapse but it was up to me and if I felt they were needed. Although unpleasant, my symptoms were bearable and slowly improving so I gave the steroids a miss. So off Pete and I disappeared into the sunset so to speak, with a view to see her in a year.

So that was that. I had MS, we just had to get on with it. Over the next few months most of my symptoms faded apart form the occasional sensation of pins and needles. I think it was by about the March I was feeling more myself. I was back to normal apart from my legs felt a lot more achy then they ever did before and at times they would hurt when walking/going up the stairs, which never happened before the relapse. But all in all I had escaped with little problems. May be my rainy wedding day had brought me luck after all.

To be continued...

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