Click here to receive MS news via e-mail
Written by Meg Lewellyn on April 17, 2017
In 2007, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was momma to three young kids aged 9, 7, and 5 years, and I really didn’t have time to let MS take over my life. I was an active, probably overly involved “super mom” who never wanted to let anyone down and never wanted to show weakness or vulnerability.
MS swept in and shook that all up.
Initially, it struck where it hurt me most: my mobility. It went to crap overnight. In less than a year, I went from running 6 to 8 miles six days a week to needing to use a cane or my Segway to go anywhere outside of my house. It was a nasty blow, but one that I rolled with, finding the new ways to get things done, allowing myself to embrace the “new me” who seemed to be constantly in flux.
MS can redefine your life in an instant and then decide to mess with you and redefine it again tomorrow. I fought my way through the flares, fatigue, and fog, a warrior on a mission wielding my pink cane as a sword.
During this phase of my MS life, pain hadn’t arrived as a full-fledged member of the team I played against each day. It would pop its head out during my workouts, though. I would arrive at the gym feeling fine, only to discover burning pain, spasticity, and spasms within minutes. It hurt a lot, but knowing that it would subside shortly after finishing up made it bearable.
The rollercoaster that is MS pain
After four years, I was fortunate enough to begin to experience improvements in my mobility and balance. (There’s something to be said about divorce and a reduction in stress.) I put my cane away and began focusing on living without it. It was wonderful, this newfound freedom, and there were even days when “I have MS” wasn’t the first thought to go through my head when I woke up in the morning. When I was out, I stopped worrying I would fall or be unable to make it back to the car after a trip to the grocery store.
Then MS decided it wanted to play once again and opened the door to the pain. It slowly built over time, first popping up every once in a while. It was annoying but tolerable. But the occasional visit became a regular thing, taking over more and more of my life. Over the years, as the pain became constant and all-consuming, I talked to my doctors about it. I went from always rating my pain at 2 or 3 during my appointments to constantly writing “10++++” on the form (along with a few expletives, just to make my point).
I tried what my doctor prescribed. Sometimes, it would help a bit, at least at the beginning. But any improvements were short lived, and I would find myself right back in the midst of the pain, spending each and every day just hoping simply to make it through the day. I tried baclofen, tizanidine, gabapentin, methadone (Dolophine), clonazepam, LDN, amitriptyline, and nortriptyline. I self-medicated with alcohol. But none of it worked. The pain remained, and I sunk deeper and deeper into the world it created for me.
Why I was apprehensive about medical marijuana
I had discussed medical marijuana with my doctor a few times over the years, and I had even been given my medical prescription (MMJ card) about four years ago. The doctor didn’t know much about it, but suggested I research it. Recreational cannabis was legalized here in Washington, and cannabis shops began popping up all over the place. But I didn’t explore it as an option.
MS Views and News is MAKING an IMPACT on those affected by Multiple Sclerosis
MS Views and News provides beneficial information for those affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
Join us by registering here: www.register.msviewsandnews.org