Last of June 1971 I woke up and could only see items with peripheral vision in my left eye. I made an appointment with the eye doctor, he put me on prednisone. After a couple of weeks when wasn't better, referred to a neurologist in Tulsa. This doctor ran some tests because I had taken a bad fall down some steps while on vacation the first part of June and landed on my head. In about 6 weeks, sight was back to normal except for color brightness. Diagnosis optic neuritis.
Over the next nine years and a move to Nashville, things seemed to be pretty normal as I knew it. Can look back now and see things may have been caused from MS.
Spring of 1980 problem with slight numbness in my right lower leg for 3 to 4 days, but numbness came back worse a month later and leg was smaller than left leg. Was sent to Vanderbilt Hospital for a battery of tests after several days and a spinal tap, was told appeared to be Multiple Sclerosis.
I didn't know much about MS. My neighbor while growing up had MS. She would honk and I would go over and help her get in the house when her mom wasn't home. She was a lovely person, good spirit and she never talked about her MS. All I knew was she had MS and had to have assistance walking and mechanical things put on her car to drive.
June 11, 1996 I could hardly drive home after attending birth of my granddaughter. Doc was on vacation so found neurologist to see me. Since I had never had a MRI, he sent me to have one done. MRI showed (benign) Meningioma tumor on brain. He sent me to St Louis and I had surgery to remove it. While there, a MS specialist looked at tests and then checked me out.
In 6 weeks, I was back to work for half days and able to write again.
The Lord gave me my life verse just before the MS diagnosis. Verse is I Thess. 5:18, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you". Don't know why I have this thorn but do know "He" can get me through the bad times.
Since the diagnosis, I have had several episodes with limbs. Each one lasted about 6 weeks then limb/limbs would return back to use except a little more loss of strength.
My husband cannot feel what I do but has been such a blessing and encouragement. He can look at me now and know it is time for me to rap things up and call it a day. We own a pop and mom business which gets pretty busy and stressful at times.
Just a little editorial note from Frank:
Gwen happens to be my half-sister and we are both afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis! Coincidence?