MS & I

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The story behind my brother...


My mom, dad, and I were interviewed by Deseret News last week concerning my brothers death. I love being able to spread the word about prescription drug abuse and the toll it takes on the family. I don't think people realize how big of a problem this is! It is so sad that this is one of the top killers in Utah, and this is something that can so easily be controlled. Please read! http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700018654/Prescription-drug-abuse-puts-many-Utahns-in-a-deadly-spiral.html


Last week my family and I were invited to a wonderful luncheon for a new facility called N.O.R.F. (national opiates recovery foundation.) This is located in Murray and is a rehabilitation center for those addicted to opiates. My dad was a speaker and did an amazing job! Although the subject is very hard to discuss he loves nothing more than telling his story in hopes that others will have the opportunity to learn from it before it's too late. Please be opiate free! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The beginning of something new…

Yesterday I finally met with my MS specialist to start my real MS medication. I was sooo excited to start. When I came home from the hospital and was off all of the steroids my foot slowly started to go numb once again and the cycle I endured began all over again. For right now I must use a walker whereever I go and a wheelchair for long walks such as the mall. In the hospital they diagnosed me with PPMS (primary progressive multiple sclerosis) this is technically the worst type of MS you can have. I did get good news from my doctor; she does not believe that I have PPMS. She said a proper diagnosis could take a few months. The doctor and her PA believe that I have had this disease since I was a senior in high school. So I possibly could have had MS all the way back in 2005! And that makes a lot of sense. They began me on a few oral meds and the MS medication is a once a week shot that I give myself. The only side effect is flu like symptoms. On one hand I am so happy to start meds so I can go back to a normal life and on the on the other hand I hate being sick. I did fine the first 6 hours after the injection and then a horrible migraine came upon me. This lasted for up to 5 or so hours. Oh do I now have sympathy for those who have these. This is the worst feeling in the world, just trying to get to my bed seemed almost impossible. My hubby tried carrying me but I was so sick I had to have him put me down so I could crawl down the stairs. Even though I made it down stairs I threw up all of my oral medication I had just taken. Can I win?! Finally tucked in my bed I was able to receive a beautiful blessing and fell asleep a few minutes after and woke up feeling a 100% better.

Hospital...12th floor and loving the mornings

Hospital...a home away from home

My hospital stay was initially 2 days. This then turned into almost 2 weeks. After the MRI Dr. Fantle suggested that I get a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and a chest x-ray. I dreaded the lumbar puncture, but when the time came the amazing staff at IMC was able to calm my nerves and I honestly could not feel the procedure what so ever. The only draw back was the next day it hurt. After 4 days on the 14th floor I was transferred to the 12th neurological rehab floor because I still walked like a drunk. The 12th floor was amazing and they took amazing care of me. I had physical and occupational therapy 6 times a day, so my day was always jammed packed with my wonderful visitors, OT, and PT. The amazing PT were able to get me walking normal again (well I thought it was normal) I honestly can not remember the last time I walked with out holding on to a wall. I always remember telling my husband that I would cry the first time I could walk normal again. Finally the time came for me to head home. I was sent home with an awesome walker, which I truly do love, although I look like a 90 year old trapped in a 21 year olds body. You would be surprised how many stares from others you receive. I do miss the hospital and all the wonderful people who assisted in my recovery.
video
I may look funny, but this is amazing for me!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Expected...


My grandpa had multiple sclerosis. When he was diagnosed at 28 there was not much hope, He finished the last 5 years of his life in the V.A. hospital. When I began to have these unknown symptoms I was taking a human anatomy course, low and behold we studied MS. We focused on the disease for only a few minutes, after class I felt like a hypochondriac. I went home typed in MS symptoms and there it was I had the majority of the symptoms. My family (who knew of my struggles already) wanted to deny the fact that this could be a possibility. The only person in my life that thought I truly did have MS was my father. I saw the fear in his face immediately. As the weeks went on my dad was constantly asking about my symptoms. Every time I had the hiccups he would fret that I just may be another repeat of his father (who had hiccups for quite a few years due to MS). I must say my dad is my hero; I am a daddy’s girl. I look up to him more than I can explain. He presents such strength and grace in every way, he makes me proud to be a Snarr. And he was the one to finally have me see a neurologist. A week before being admitted into the hospital I came down with a minor cold. This completely shut down my body and I could barley walk. I would call my dad and just sob because I knew I needed to see a doctor as soon as possible, but my neurologist appointment was not for another week (neurologist can take months to get into, I made my apt early February and got a mid March appointment) my father made a few phone calls and worked his Mayor magic (which he hates to do) and got me an appointment for 3 days later. February 22 I met with Dr. Chocair at IMC after talking to me and running a few small tests I was admitted into the hospital. I remember crying with a smile on my face because I was so happy to be taken care of; that I was finally going to know what was wrong with me. That night I had an hour and a half MRI and the next afternoon the results were in. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I remember having the biggest grin on my face when he told me. I don’t know why, I was just happy to know and knew that I was in the right hands. My next hurdle was telling my family.

To Begin........

To begin…in July of 2009 I began to notice something not right, while dancing (what I love to do) in a modern dance class I notice my left leg did not want to agree with what my brain wanted it to do. I could not rely on my left leg any longer. Flash forward a month…my leg no longer bothered me, but while walking to class I was forced to slow down or else I felt as though I was going to fall over. My balance was now going. One night after class my right eye felt as though I had been punched, I thought I had only strained it reading. But while driving my right eye sight was blurring. Although this was off key for me, a 21 year old life long dancer and fully active young woman it failed to worry me. Jump to December…Making a trip to the mall to buy my wonderful husband a Christmas present. Just a few strides into the mall and I knew something was not right. The mall was crawling with hundreds of people (As it usually is around Christmas) and I could not distinguish one face. Everything was a blur, I could not focus. The longer I walked the more my left leg began to tingle and eventually gave out continuously. I made a trip to the woman’s lounge to sit and catch my breath. Then I called my husband and voiced concern. This was the beginning of knowing something was seriously wrong but, was too fearful to do anything about it.