Multiple Sclerosis Knocked Me Down but I Got Back Up


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It was February 2nd, 2012. A day that would change my life, FOREVER!

Rewind to a few weeks prior. I was sitting in my apartment when all of a sudden both my legs started buzzing. It was kind of like someone stuck to cell phones in my legs, and set them to “vibrate mode”. It lasted only 30 seconds, then it disappeared. I just thought okay well I guess that was nothing. Maybe I imagined it.

Days later it happened again but lasted a few minutes longer. Stopped again. By this point I was thinking I must have been just imagining it, legs don’t vibrate. Next day, it happened again. A few minutes of buzzing in my legs. It appeared most of the day. Happening off, and on.

leg cramps

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My husband thought meh, maybe you’ve pinched a nerve. We can go see the doctor, just to be sure, but we both really didn’t think it was a big deal. More of a strange annoyance than anything. Here we are Thursday, February 2nd, 2012. You kind of never forget a day like that. When I got off work we headed to the doctor’s office.

My doctor started running tests on me, which I assumed was the just standard procedure. You know when the doctor puts the hammer tool to your knees to check your reflexes? Well, my doctor repeated that like 20 times on me. Then she said, “I don’t really know what to think here, but your legs aren’t responding. Not how they’re supposed to. Hmmm… let me try a few more things on you.”

After being there about two hours my doctor said, “I hate to panic you, but I have to be honest. Something is seriously wrong with you. I have a feeling you could go paralyzed at any moment. Listen, this is serious. I want you to head straight to the ER. Do not go home. I’ll send orders over for tests I want to be done.”

I replied, “The ER? Really? For vibrating legs? How can you be sure?”

ER 2

The doctor, “I am positive, something is not right here. I suspect the hospital will admit you, and you’re not going home, or back to work tomorrow. Try not to panic, but you better call your family. Let them know. Head straight to the ER, I really suspect you’ll go paralyzed if you don’t follow my instructions”.

We left the doctor’s office and I kept saying to my husband Jason, “Paralyzed? No way. No way. This doesn’t make any sense. Whatever. I’ll do what she says, but I can’t miss work. My job needs me. I’m going back to work.” We called both our families while on the way to the ER. Then reached a coworker to explain the situation, as my job meant a lot to me. I assumed I would be back to work by the next week, and this would be no big deal.

Fast forward to about 3 weeks later. My doctor told me to lay low until a neurologist could see me. At that point, nothing significant had happened besides the minor leg problem continuing. Then BAM out of nowhere I fell to the floor. You never forget moments like that. I remember brushing my teeth, while my husband vacuumed.

Toothpaste went everywhere, my toothbrush went flying through the air. To this day, I can picture it in slow motion as it happened. My legs gave out, and I hit the floor like a pile of bricks. I remember my screaming. I can hear it clearly in my mind all these years later.

“Jason…Jason…HELP please HELP. I can’t feel my legs. I can’t feel anything.” He couldn’t hear me. The vacuum was too loud. I screamed louder, and he rushed in to see what I was freaking out about.

“What do you mean you can’t feel your legs? What happened? Toothpaste is everywhere! Here, let me help stand you up.”

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I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t feel him touching my legs. I had lost all feeling from the waist down. We tried several attempts to get me up, but my legs were like noodles. I was bawling and in a state of panic. Jason scooped me up and carried me to the couch.


Next thing I knew, I was borrowing my grandma’s old wheelchair until we sorted this out. My first neurologist suspected I had this thing called “Transverse Myelitis” and that over time I would make a full recovery. Sure enough, months later with lots of physical therapy and hard work, I regained some mobility. By the summer of 2012, I transitioned to using a cane and eventually started feeling a lot better. What a relief. Maybe I could put this whole strange ordeal behind me.

Fast forward again to October 2012. I fell down. I had been falling down a lot that year, so no big deal. I’d just pull myself back up, and carry on. Except, I couldn’t get up. I was numb from the waist down. I was unsteady, wobbly and now, NOW something even more interesting was happening. My left arm and hand weren’t working. It was numb, tingling, and felt really stiff. It felt like someone super glued the joints in my left arm. Then all sorts of other strange things started to appear. I couldn’t move my neck. It was somehow locked up.

I was just lying on the floor helpless. Boy, did I feel helpless… It felt like my body was shutting down. Here my fate was again, except even worse. Worse to the point my husband was dressing me, feeding me, showering me. Caring for me as though I was an old woman, but I wasn’t. I was a young 29-year-old.


Here I was, sitting in my doctor’s office back in that wheelchair. My doctor said, “I’ve got bad news. We need to run more tests, but we are pretty certain you have Multiple Sclerosis. You’ll probably be in a wheelchair most your life. I will call for them to come take measurements at your home, and get your fitted for a custom wheelchair that fits your needs.”

wheelchair 3

I remember looking at her with this blank stare like, “What in the hell is Multiple Sclerosis?”And then, I just bawled. My doctor lets me sit in the room, and told me to take as long as I needed to sort my thoughts. I cried for two hours.

I went home, and days later I got the call, “Hi, I’m with the medical place, what day can we come measure you, so we can get a custom wheelchair built for you?”

I paused and then I said, “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t need it.”

The man’s voice started cracking, “But Ma’am aren’t you paralyzed? I have notes that say you need this.”

“Ya well, I’ve borrowed a wheelchair from my grandma. I won’t be needing your services anymore.”

I got off the call and Jason says, “What are you doing? You need that wheelchair.”

“I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ve got a plan. I’m not staying in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I’m getting rid of this wheelchair too.”

Was I crazy? YES! To be honest I was scared. My future was grim, but I took my chances that day. It took so much work on my part to walk again. I remember after lots of physical therapy, and failed attempts to walk I was about to give up.


Then one day, I turned to Jason and said, “This is it. I’m just going to stand up out of this wheelchair.” I was really wobbly, but I took one small step, then two steps. Then, down I went. I hit the floor.

Jason started crying. He just sobbed. I’d never seen him cry like that before. He then said, “Holy crap. You just walked. You actually took some steps. It’s a miracle.” A true miracle it was. Step by step I started walking again. I remember staring at the wheelchair.

“Hello, old friend.” We’ve met at a crossroad. I was walking with a cane at this time, but I did something that shocked everyone. Even Jason was nervous for me. He thought I’d gone mad!

I pushed the wheelchair out to the apartment dumpster. “Goodbye old friend.”

I watched someone pick it up 5 minutes after dumping it. I hoped it would serve that person well like it did for me.

“Goodbye old friend.” It was like a piece of me was gone, but a new beginning was just starting. I not only said goodbye to the wheelchair, but I said goodbye to the old me so I could learn to accept the new me!

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