About Me: Female, 61, Seattle, WA, member since Jan 2010
An avid skier, swimmer, pianist, singer, and dancer, I gradually lost coordination and mental acuity for favorite activities over my 57 years with undiagnosed MS.
Over time, I'd get intense fatigue, experience continual sever headaches, and my physical and cognitive functions mysteriously degraded. I also had diagnosed depression but with medicine, prevailing medical wisdom, and intense self-education in nutrition & diet my little family toughed it out with me and I boldly willed myself to keep going like most of us do.
At 36, I clearly remember that first "train wreck" in my brain. I knew something was seriously wrong & was physically stopped in my tracks, derailed from work and a B/A degree program @ Univ. of Wash. for 4 months. I was 36 years old.
Several similar, less severe attacks lasting 2-4 weeks and needing support were managed as well as I could without anyone knowing what it was. My symptoms were mostly invisible involving loss of gross motor coordination, cognitive function, mood disorders, chronic pain, & crippling fatigue. Until last spring when I was "slammed to the mat" by this disease.
This last year I've added ataxia, tremors, and speech/language challenges that landed me in the hospital twice in short succession last spring and now a new exacerbation in January 2010. My diagnosis was made 10/7/09 as I was still pulling out of spring's exacerbation.
Currently I'm tenured as a music and movement teacher, whose joy and passion in this 17 year profession is now seriously threatened by advancing, diagnosed MS. One severe exacerbation last spring and now another beginning Jan. 2, 2010 has brought my fitness for this employment as an educator responsible for 480 students and two choirs into sobering and acute focus.
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