1. a new or second birth: the rebirth of the soul.
2. a renewed existence, activity, or growth; renaissance or revival: the rebirth of conservatism.
October 14, 2013, is my rebirth date. I have a renewed existence and a renewed outlook on my life. Although I continue to fight demons in my head and work on putting the past behind me so I can discover a sense of peace, on October 14, 2013, Mellie was born again.
Three Weeks Ago
September 24th started out like most mornings. I was up with the family and getting everyone's food ready for the day. I am not much of a morning person; I don't drink coffee, and I don't have the luxury of taking time to myself to wake up slowly. As soon as my hubby pats me on the leg and leans in to kiss me good morning, my feet are on the ground and I am going full speed.
As I got into my car and was able to stop for a moment I tried to speak out loud to myself, and this time I was extremely focused on the words I wanted to say. Again, though, the words came slow and slurred. I realized at that moment too my tongue felt swollen, it was difficult for me to swallow, and the left side of my lips felt numb. The more I tried the harder I realized it was for me to talk like I normally talk. I wondered what had occurred to make this happen to me and could feel myself getting anxious about it. I worried about driving myself home and was wondering was this the start of a stroke or a heart attack, was I going to pass out while trying to drive home? I tried to keep myself from freaking out and reminded myself that when I was a little girl about 8 or 9 I woke up and 1/2 my face was numb. Back then my doctor told me I had a cold in my face and it took about two weeks for it to go away. I chalked it up to another cold in my face and forced myself to put the car in gear. As I drove home, I knew I needed to call my doctor right away.
I called and was able to get a same day appointment. My next call was to my husband at work. I did not want to worry him, or myself so I really tried to speak slow and articulate the words I wanted to say to him so he could not only understand me but assure me that nothing was wrong. My hubby asked me some questions while he listened to my speech. He wanted to know what areas of my body felt numb, if I had any pain—and when I noticed my difficult speaking. He didn't seem to concerned but told me he would come pick me up and take me to the doctor.
Later that day my hubby showed up and off to the doctor we went. By this time my anxiety had increased significantly. It was too difficult for me to speak, so I was unable to do my job. I was anxious about what was going on and as the day moved on, it became harder and harder for me to swallow. My doctor immediately tested my reflexes and motor skills. He was able to rule out a stroke—this was good, he assured me, but what came to follow rocked me to my toes.
Dr. Sahota said to me, "I am going to order an MRI for you and start you on steroid therapy via IV for three days. We are going to treat you as if you have MS and then see what the MRI shows us."
Lesions on your brain can be caused by MS or from damage from migraines. Because I had no symptoms of MS but had suffered from migraines since I was 12, I was told in 2007 it could be just from those. I was told to keep an eye on myself, and we will see if I developed any MS Symptoms. Honestly I never thought about it again after that day.
Now, here I was hearing it again and I was going to be treated as if I had it? I could not comprehend what he was saying to me. I looked at my hubby as the doctor was speaking to me to see his reaction. He didn't seemed too moved by the subject matter (if you know my husband, he often times will intentionally not show emotion on his face), but I know what I wanted him to do was stand up and shout, "Mellie does not have MS." Instead, he reminded the doctor that I had a MRI in the past to serve as a baseline for comparison purposes. As the doctor excused himself from the room to go look up the MRI, my hubby looked at me and did what he does best—he flashed his smile and told me with his eyes, you are going to be okay. Don't worry. I ended the appointment with steroid treatment delivered via an IV (to “kill” any active lesions), and an appointment for a MRI three days later, in Salem (my doctor wanted the MRI immediately and Salem had the first opening).
With my hubby by my side, I laid in the MRI machine for 45 minutes repeating The Lord’s Prayer over and over again, as my hubby stood by my side holding onto my legs.
It took several more days after the MRI to learn the results. In the interim, I was being referred to a neurologist that specializes in MS. For the next week my hubby was diligent on reading everything there was to know about MS. He read blogs from people who had similar attacks, he read about therapy for people with MS; different types of MS. He constantly was reading and trying to get a grip on what I could have. I, for one, focused on my speech. It was very embarrassing for me to not be able to speak normally. I found myself saying little to no words when I was in public until I could get the use of my speech all the way back. I spent my time talking to God and my time telling myself I was NOT going to have MS. I was too strong for that, I told myself, and have come too far in my life to have any kind of disease.
Since your last MRI:
1. New 1.6 cm acute demyelinating plaque in the left middle frontal gyrus.
2. Two new but nonactive plaques in the right superior temporal gyrus and in the right precentral gyrus near the vertex.
3. Remaining white matter disease appears similar.
|This is your brain.....|
|This is your brain with lesions..... any questions?|