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Julie’s Story (Multiple Sclerosis)

Julie's Story (Multiple Sclerosis)My name is Julie and I am 32 years old. I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in October of 2006. About two months before my diagnosis I began to feel tingles down my neck and spine every time I tilted my head down. I thought I had just tweaked my neck or something. Then one day while I was at work I suddenly went numb down the entire right side of my face, neck, and down my left arm. I went to the ER where they did an MRI to see if I was having a stroke or a brain tumor. Nope. It turned out to be MS. I was in shock. I was totally terrified. I started to research MS a little and that just made me even more scared.

I saw my first neurologist within a month of my diagnosis. It was horrible. He gave me very little information and prescribed a drug for the MS that he said would have horrible side effects. Not to mention the fact that I had to self inject myself with a shot every day. It was then that I went into the denial stage. I decided that putting up with the disease had to be better than the awful treatment. I didn’t see another neurologist for a year. During that year the MS became very active. I had all the symptoms: vision issues, numbness, weakness, balance issues, etc. I finally had to move my family in with my mother because I was too ill to do it.

My family and friends suggested that I get involved in things like the Walk MS or other MS social network, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to face the fact that I was one of “those” people. I didn’t want to be faced with what the disease could do to my body. I didn’t want to be “crippled” I felt like the MS had taken away my entire life. I felt like a victim. Then one day I decided I didn’t want to be a victim anymore. I decided I wanted to be Xena. I was ready to be a warrior princess and fight MS. I began to really research the disease, how it works, and what I can do to fight it. I made an appointment with a good neurologist and began a plan for fighting the disease. I started taking disease modifying medications. I learned how to exercise and how to eat in ways that would help rather than harm my situation.

Here I am, eight years later, a brand new woman. It has been three years since my last major MS flair. My most recent MRI shows shrinking of existing lesions and no new lesions. I have lost 90 lbs. I have feeling in all of my limbs and I can see out of both eyes. I am attending school to get my BA degree. I sleep well and have good mobility. I work with an excellent team of doctors, and am no longer afraid of treatment ideas. I am involved in several MS social networks and plan to lead a Walk MS team in Seattle this spring. Having MS doesn’t make me a victim. Having MS doesn’t make me weak. Having MS has taught me that I am STRONG and that I SHINE!

Submitted 01/10/2014

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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  1. Valerie

    Julie… I am also 32 and waiting for the results of my MRI. The more research I do and the more I talk to ppl about MS everything just fits. Any words of wisdom or advise u can give? I am a single mom and putting a wall so my children don’t see how afraid I am until I know for sure. Reading these stories about MS isencouraging… Thank u for sharing!

  2. Amanda

    Hi Julie,
    My story is almost identical to yours! It gives me such inspiration & hope to hear about others who are also fighting this horrible disease. I have an MS ribbon with Overcome written through it to remind me that I am strong enough to overcome anything MS can throw at me! Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!!

  3. Shona

    Hi Julie,
    I am 21 I was just dignosed one year ago on the 10th of April I had all the same symptoms too, I am on the daily injection and just about coming to terms with the fact I have MS. I need to try get myself on to a good healthy eat plan but its very hard. Do you find anything in particular that helps you get along.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Jenny

    Hi all I have been experiencing ms symptoms for 10 yrs I am only now going through the process of being diagnosed as I denied ms to family and friends as they would worry but recently I have been experiencing the ms hug ( 9 episodes to date in the past three months) so felt it was time to seek advise and see if the ms is progressing aggresivly and how I can manage this as I am very independent and work full time. I am now openly speaking about my condition as family and friends have suspected something isnt right and noticed changes in me and been worried for me (this is why I have kept to myself) , I am hoping that Imy neurologist can advise me on the best way to manage ms now i have a feeling that it may be time for medication but this will be a last result , to all of you who are frightened please don’t be continue your life and manage your symptoms as and when requiered try not to dwell on what could happen time is precious waste it wisely, where there’s a will there is always a way. Live your lives to the full we are not coffin dodgers yet lol take care be strong and good luck ( if you need support from your loved ones than take it you don’t have to experience ms on your own , do what’s right for you we are all different ) . Jny

  5. Tammy Lewis

    Hi my name is Tammy I am 48 ,I have been diagnosed with relapsing ms on 4/7/13 ,and i am one that did not believe that it has happen to me. I was being treated for stress because my left side went numb for one month and one day i passed out from a seizure ,never had one a day in my life .Now i am on seizure medication and i have to injection myself 3 times a week with Rebif. They say it is no cure but i believe God to do all things.we are all in this togather and we are all effect in different ways.I just want to say thank you ladies for your stories,Be Blessed.

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