My Multiple Sclerosis Story
By Danielle McClinton
Multiple Sclerosis can be an unbearable disease. Everyday is so different. I was diagnosed April 7th, 2012 at the age of 22. At the time, I was in college for Forensic Science. MS slowed me down because I couldn’t actually sit in front of a computer without being in pain. I knew something was wrong; just never went to the doctor.
As time went on, I started to experience more symptoms. The first symptom was loss of balance. I could barely walk long distances without the assistance of the nearest wall. I then told my doctor that my feet and hands were numb. She (Dr. Milena Shakhbazova) then listened to me complain about my symptoms. After listing them, she told me it sounds like I could have Multiple Sclerosis. That disease was foreign to me. My sister was with me, and began researching what MS was. After reading the definition of MS; we cried for at least 5 minutes.
Afterwards, Dr. Shakhbazova recommended that I see Dr. Rederich who was a Neurologist in Redondo Beach, CA. He immediately ran a blood test that showed I did carry the disease of Multiple Sclerosis. After the blood test, my symptoms became worse! My cognitive thinking was horrible, I had no leg balance and my body weight decreased fast. I was beyond scared and really confused after the diagnosis.
To make sure the symptoms were all related to MS, Dr. Rederich ordered an MRI appointment to be done on my Spine in Torrance, CA. After receiving the results of my MRI; I was officially diagnosed with MS. Seven days before my birthday! This was a tragedy to me!
To ease my symptoms and start treatment for MS, I was given a small binder – book and DVD about Avonex. A shot once a week was kind of nerve-wracking! A nurse was even assigned to come to my house and show me how and where to inject myself. After injections for a year, Avonex didn’t work like it once did. I was then given Aubagio (pills) that were awful. Due to Aubagio, a new lesion formed on my hip. Afterwards, I was prescribed the monthly treatment of Tysabri. An injection that took two hours to insert through a needle into my veins. This treatment worked sooo well it was pleasing! After two years though, it was no longer my miracle treatment. I switched to the newest treatment called Ocrevus! Now, I don’t experience any pain with this injection at all. I must say it’s been wonderful. Every 6 months I get a 2 hour infusion that really allows me to feel almost normal!
Being an MS patient, has allowed me to gain friendships and actually meet my soulmate! Of course no-one enjoys having MS but you really develop an MS Family. Participating in Walk MS every year (since 2012) has been so enjoyable and allows one to see that he/she is NEVER alone. I hope and pray for a cure.
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