Zoe was just 16 when she was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. In part two of her blog series, she talks about the journey to finally reaching a diagnosis.
After a period of being unwell and countless visits to the hospital, I returned to school. I am a stubborn, tough cookie and I wasn’t going to let my ill health get in the way.
However, it wasn’t a great start as my balance problems were still serious and led me to fall down the stairs at school. I really needed to know what was going on!
Reaching a diagnosis
That weekend I was watching Spiderman with my mum when my left hand started tingling and then progressed to numbness. It felt like electric wires sparking. It was off to A&E again in a bid to get more answers.
Some neurological tests revealed my results were not up to the standard they should be. I was also told that my previous MRI scans showed quite a bit of brain and spinal scarring.
In the wee hours of the morning, I was told I had MS. One of my first thoughts was: it’s like that show ‘16 and Pregnant’, but my life was ‘16 with MS’.
It was quite a low time but I still sang and joked my way through it – if not for myself but for my family.
In the hospital
I was kept in hospital for a week. The doctors put me on a high dose of steroids to help reduce the inflammation of the nerves caused by the MS.
I had lots of other tests and relished having visitors, but I didn’t want them to leave me alone. I kept myself busy by doing homework and studying - I even had my friends bring in my school work.
I remember joking during visual tests that I felt like Professor X from X-Men when he’s using his cerebro machine.
When I was released from hospital I had to wait a few months before being put on a disease modifying therapy (DMT) called tysabri.
There were new medications and a diagnosis to get used to, but I wasn’t going to take it lying down…
Zoe's third blog in the series will talk about what happened post diagnosis and how she is now getting on with enjoying life.