When You Think You Have MS
Lately there have been quite a few new members to the ms list I moderate who are not being treated well by their doctors. They feel their doctors are not taking there symptoms seriously. And many doctors don’t take early ms symptoms seriously. Things like muscle tics, numbness, spasms, and exhaustion are oftentimes passed off as stress. It’s true, these things do happen to people under severe stress, and it’s a logical assumption to make the first time a patient comes in with one of those common complaints.
It’s a frustrating, depressing experience that can bring even the strongest of people down.
I remember how frustrating
and angering it is to be told your symptoms are all in your head. I
even had a Dr suggest I was flat out crazy. My beginning symptoms were
things like occasional stuttering, hearing loss, and every so often my
left leg would just give out on me and I would end up on the ground,
with no warning. Another Dr prescribed drug treatment when my left leg
went totally numb. I almost lost my job over that one. I worked with challenged adults and children. Needing “drug treatment” was, rightfully so, a job terminating offense. The strongest thing I was using at the time, or have ever used for that matter was Marlboro Lights. (no, I do not smoke anymore. I was young and stubborn.)
However, we as a society have been indoctrinated to believe we need a doctor to tell us what’s wrong and to prescribe medicine to fix us. Nothing could be further from the truth.
People with serious or chronic illness who fare the best are those who take their health in their own hands. They research symptoms or diagnosis, and all known treatments, allopathic and “alternative.” They fight through the preconceived notions, the general medical ‘god complex’, and opinions of family and friends. They listen to internal guidance…. that “still, small voice” within that is always there to give wisdom and strength.
I’ve been there. I know how it feels to be belittled by those who are paid to help you. To be treated like you’re crazy simply because the doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong with you. I know how it feels to have family treat you badly because they assume you’re faking, or because your symptoms come and go.
I’ve come out the other side, and here’s my advice:
Don’t let it get you down. Attitude effects ms symptoms a
lot. So do emotions. Focus on what you CAN do instead of what you think
you can’t. Engage in things that make you happy, even when you don’t’
feel like it. I’m prone to depression, and forcing myself to do
something I enjoy helps bring me out of the fog.
Talk to people.. rant, cry, scream, write, whatever you do to let off steam.. do it — often.
Take action. Make solid changes to your life and routines that
encourage health and support the immune system. Even without the
diagnosis — it’s not that important. Unless you need to go on
disability the dx is more of a hindrance than a help. Yes.. it’s a
relief to have a name for this thing that is making you feel like
crap.. but the dx of ms makes it difficult to get health and life
insurance, could even keep you from a job you want. (yes, it’s illegal,
but it happens) The label can make things tougher because doctors will
write you off as a lost cause, because you have an “incurable
Some things you can do on your own.
Look at your diet — remove anything and everything you could have an
allergic or sensitivity reaction to. Common food additives and
preservitives are a common sensitivity. The Best Bet Diet is a good
place to start.
Add supplements known to strengthen and balance the immune system and neurological systems.
Read about detoxification and the effects toxins have on our bodies.
Meditate daily. Envision your neurological system getting stronger and
rebuilding itself. Envision a balanced, well working immune system.
Exercise lightly. Exercise can help reduce muscle tone loss and rebuild lost muscle
Ask lots of questions. Do research to get answers to your questions.