I was 26 years old when I was diagnosed. I’m 46 now. It’s been 20 years. It’s hard to remember what life was like before it. It becomes a blur because I also had my daughter at 27. When I had my first attack, my entire left side went numb with muscle atrophy and they needed to rule out stroke. Due to this fact they made me come off birth control. They just forgot to tell me I was clear to go back on even after my diagnosis. That summer I got pregnant. Granted it was the best thing that happened to me but it’s also hard to imagine life without my daughter.
What was life like before I had MS? Well I was in high school. High school sucked!!!! College, college was awesome!!!! Right there we’re talking about the age of 21 when I graduated. It was only five years before my diagnosis of MS came. I was young adult, just getting my footing on the ground.
I got a job as an assistant restaurant manager and Pizza Hut. My major in college was Hotel restaurant management. I was so excited. I met my husband on a training course in Pennsylvania for the assistant management position. I met him six months out of college. We moved in together within six months and we were engaged probably six months later. However, we didn’t marry for another year plus.
We were poor and kids. We didn’t do much. We went to Atlantic City to gamble. We hung out in bars. We smoked cigarettes. We had walks in the snow. Mostly though we worked and watched movies at home and drank alcohol. That’s what kids in there early 20’s did.
I got promoted to manager and in that time optic neuritis showed up but proved inconclusive on its own and went away. A few months later we started the process of buying a house. It was so stressful. The weekend we officially moved in, which was Valentines Day weekend 1998, my main attack started. By the end of the week, I couldn’t walk.
Not much was going on before I got diagnosed. I spent most of my life with my diagnosis. It’s hard to imagine a life without it. Does that make me luckier? I don’t know. I know what life was like when things were easier with my MS but that’s a different post. I just don’t view life as before my diagnosis and after anymore. I view when it was easier. However my attitude then was still immature and poor. Wish I could go back and change some of my decisions after I was diagnosed maybe I’d be better today but who knows. Not a possibility at this point so no reason to dwell.