One Woman's Experience with Multiple Sclerosis

Mandy Crest Health Guide
  • Come along with me and take a look at the world through the eyes of one woman with multiple sclerosis.

    Through my eyes...

    ...it's 3:00 a.m. and I am startled from a sound sleep, deep in the throes of a violent vertigo attack. I see the room spinning wildly, the bed is lurching from side to side, threatening to dump me off and my stomach begins to churn. I know what this is. I know that it is not real. I fumble for the lamp and sit up straight in bed. Experience tells me that if I sit still, keep the light on and do not move my head, the vertigo will ease off in time. Just keep hanging on.
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    ...I reach for my morning medication and decide on today's injection site. I inadvertently hit a vein and feel the sting. A bump immediately swells as I wipe away the blood. Better luck tomorrow.

    ...I pause at the bottom of the staircase, looking upward. Is that staircase really taller than it used to be? I take a deep breath and mentally brace myself for the climb. I must hold the railing for support but my arms are weak. One step at a time Mandy. One step at a time.

    ...pulling into the parking lot of the shopping center, my eyes dart quickly around, seeking out the available handicapped spots. If I park too far from the entrance all is lost. I will use my limited energy supply before I accomplish the task at hand. I see a woman eyeing me as I exit my car. I think she may be judging me and my use of the handicapped placard. On the other hand, I could be mistaken. In all likelihood, she has other things on her mind.

    ...as I make my way through the grocery store aisles, I remain on the lookout for obstacles to steady walking. I require a wide berth. Every now and then someone brushes quickly past me, seemingly annoyed at my slow pace. Not so long ago, I was the annoyed one, but I see things from a different perspective these days. That's called growth.

    ...sitting under the florescent lights of the office, flashes of light bounce in and out of my field of vision. Uh oh. Those pesky wavy lines are coming into the picture again. When I try to look directly at them, they disappear. I've been told that this is not MS, but an ocular migraine. I never experienced this until I got MS. It doesn't matter to me what you call them or where they come from. They generally pass within an hour of beginning.

    ...as I explain my latest and greatest symptoms to the doctor, the look on his face indicates that he's heard it before and that there's not much he can do. As usual, I hope he doesn't view me as a nutcase.

    ...as I prepare for bed, I check my reflection in the mirror. Who is that, anyway? I'm too tired to ponder it much and despite valiant efforts, I succumb to sleep at a ridiculously early hour.

    Through my eyes exists a constantly changing world because of a thing called multiple sclerosis.
Published On: January 19, 2008