It’s funny how some moments in your life have defining clarity to them.
Some good. Some bad. But a moment in time that seems to stick in your brain for the rest of your life.
For me, one of those moments was laying in the MRI having the brain scan done that would lead to my MS diagnosis.
It wasn’t my first MRI by any means. My first brain MRI was in Spring 2017 where they found two “lesions”… or white matter spots that indicate scarring. After that I had one done on two different regions of my spine since MS can have lesions in multiple places in the brain and spinal cord.
But this MRI was different, because deep down in my gut, I already knew the answer was MS.
While my first neurologist blew off MS as a potential diagnosis back in 2017 saying I was “too young” (I can’t tell you HOW WRONG she was)… it honestly never crossed my mind again.
When I had the episode of vision loss last year- my immediate thought was that I was having a stroke because MS was NOT something that I thought was on the table.
When I didn’t begin to exhibit other signs of stroke, I went to all of our trusty bff… google. Multiple Sclerosis was the first result…
Over and over and over again.
It certainly made me pause, but still I didn’t give it too much weight. Afterall, it was ruled that my “spots” were migraine, not MS.
But God had different plans for me (I’m a believer- but you can insert whatever spiritual being YOU believe in… the universe, mother nature… whatever).
When I began exhibiting strange behaviors… Shaking fingers and hands. Numbness in one side of my body. Cognition issues where I couldn’t form a sentence or put two thoughts together. That made me pause.
With months of wild, unexplainable symptoms like this building up… by the time that fateful MRI came around, I already knew what they would find.
And so I prayed.
I lay in that MRI machine and I PRAYED FOR THEM TO FIND SOMETHING, ANYTHING, that would explain how “off” I had been feeling.
I wasn’t myself anymore.
And I was mad about it.
I was the smart kid. The straight A student. The person who does research for fun. And here I was getting marks off on school papers for stupid mistakes, who was stumbling through sentences and slurring her words like a drunk person.
I NEEDED answers.
And so I hoped that they would find either progression of what they had seen in the past, or that it was a mistake and maybe was something else. But something to give me a name to what was happening to me.
I remember clearly, like it was yesterday, how I said to God, “God, I will do whatever you need me to do. I will be the advocate, I will share the news of this issue whatever it is- with the world, I will support others, lift them up, raise funds…. WHATEVER you need me to do. Just PLEASE help them to see what is wrong with me. I don’t care what it is, I just need you to show it to the doctors because I can’t keep going on like this.”
And he did.
It didn’t take the “two weeks” to process my MRI… the radiologist called my neurologist immediately, who set up an appointment with me immediately…
My MRI showed approximately 10 new lesions from the first MRI I had done a year and a half prior.
My MRI showed an “active” lesion, meaning it was actively inflamed and degenerating as we spoke.
My MRI showed what I knew in my gut for months- and what the first neurologist failed to do due diligence on.
My MRI showed undeniable evidence as my brain lit up like a Christmas tree. And it was such a relief.
Now, anyone reading this, don’t get me wrong. I did not WISH for MS, though it could certainly be interpreted that way. I just wished for answers. I wished that this new doctor would find what I knew the first didn’t. People don’t lose their vision for no reason. Blurred vision, sure. Double vision, you betcha. Vertigo, dizziness, and all of the jazz- absolutely! But to have vision LOSS was the scariest thing of my life- and I am so blessed that it was temporary and that modern medicine was able to find the root cause before it became a permanent characteristic in my life.