Angie recalls her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis and describes how she and her husband are raising two children while both coping with this condition.
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Living and Coping with MS in the Family - Angie's Story My name is Angie and my journey with MS begun back in 1999. I was looking for Mr. Right and somehow, I know its crazy, but I met Mr. Right on the internet. My husband now, Darren, we were on about our second date and he sat down and told me that he had something to tell me. I was thinking “Okay, he makes horror movies. Could he be a serial killer? What's up with him?” And he actually told me that he had MS. I stopped for a minute and I thought about it and I was like, you know what? He’s too wonderful and I know nothing about MS but I think maybe this will still work. So, I told him it was okay. I let him walk out of the room. I immediately got on the internet and looked up MS. What is MS? I had no idea. I didn’t know what would happen. But as I find out through our journey, life with MS could be okay. We traveled. We proceeded. We got married. We had a great life and he had a few episodes here and there, but all in all, it wasn’t a big deal. Like most couples, we decided to start a family. In December of 2005, we welcomed a little boy who is a wonderful little kid but about six weeks after we had him, I was actually at Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale and I stumbled a little bit. And I thought you know what? It’s just because I'm tired. I'm overwhelmed. I don’t know how to raise a baby. And I stumbled a little bit. So, I didn’t think anything about it. As the week progressed, I started stumbling a little bit more and I noticed that my leg was a little bit weak and then, it went numb. All I could think of was when I’ve had the baby, they’d cut something and I had a problem like a ligament was cut and that was causing problems in my legs. Then the next thing I thought was I do have a family history of heart disease. I had a stroke from the stress of having a baby. So on January 15, 2006, we went to the hospital and they checked me in and said they would do a variety of test with me and kind of see if I had a stroke. At the time, a neurologist came in and said “Try to touch your nose and close your eyes.” Well, my hands were all over everywhere, I couldn’t. And I thought this is just the weirdest thing ever. And she said to me, “Well, you may have MS.” And my husband and I both laughed. We’re like “No, no, no. I don’t have MS. He has MS. I know what MS is; it’s not what I have at all.” Well, luckily for me, they did an MRI and the next day, they confirmed that I had MS. I had multiple lesions, active lesions. And I think now, it was a gift that I met Darren because if I didn’t have him, I’d probably still be staying in the hospital crying because that’s a scary thing for anybody to deal with. But I knew life was going to be okay because we had always had a normal life, a few adjustments here and there. But we’d had a good life. So, we immediately jumped into action and our monitor kind of is that I have MS. MS does not have me. We live that everyday. We jumped into action. We proceeded with our life. I went through physical therapy. I got medicines. I worked with the MS society to get a neurologist and kept moving forward of my life. We've been really strong advocates since then of the fact that MS in this world doesn’t have to be it used to be. There are so many treatments for people. There are so many things that you can do and as long as you stay positive, your life with a few minor adjustments can be the same full life. One of my biggest concerns after I was diagnosed after learning to walk again and my exasperation which set me back was we wanted to have a second child but I should I have it? A second child because having MS, well, it goes away while you're pregnant, when you have the baby, your chances of having a relapse are like three times greater than what they normally are. But I decided it wasn’t going to stop me. So, I worked with my neurologist and he put me on some different medicines to help with the chance of exasperation and we had a little girl. We just