Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter One

By Angela March 2, 2011

I think it’s important to know how this story began. It really started over 4 years ago, although I was only officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April 2010. It was a long, painful road to this diagnosis. A road I would never wish anyone to travel.

To post this story as one entry would be terribly long, so I’ve decided to break up the posts into chapters.

CHAPTER ONE:

On October 4th 2006 Steve and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and our gift to each other was Grace. Grace was born at 1:57pm.

She was a wonderful baby. She slept, ate and was awake all when she was supposed to be. The only issue was Steve’s job. He travelled for his job and was often away Monday to Friday. Often overnight for a few nights in a row. It was never out of the ordinary for him to work in Fredericton one day and Yarmouth the next. He was never home. I was always alone, with Grace.

They called it “baby blues”. I called Them patronizing. I hate that term. “Baby Blues”. God, it makes it seem so childish and insignificant. It sounded so “ho-hum”. There was nothing “ho-hum” [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 2

By Angela March 4, 2011

At this point I urge you to click the link provided here http://mssociety.ca/en/information/symptoms_manage.htm in order to increase your understanding of the symptoms I experienced at this early stage of my diagnosis. Of the 25 symptoms listed on the page I was experiencing 14 of them by the end of this chapter. Also, I have to tell you, how therapeutic yet very painful it was to re-trace the events that led, ultimately, to my definitive diagnosis. The following chapters will be choppy, raw and blunt. That is how it seemed to me, to us, as we lived it. On top of the memory and cognitive impairments I suffered at these early stages, I think that the stress and shear shock of the events that happened encouraged a self-defence mechanism, which was to block out this terrifying and traumatic period in my life. I’ll be honest and say that some, if not most, of my memories have been manufactured and sewn together by the testimonials of those around us at the time. However, saying that, forcing myself to remember has created a sense of ownership of these memories I never felt before now.

We called my parents and told them [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 3

By Angela March 6, 2011

This chapter is best read while listening to Come Back by Pearl Jam. Inhale the song. It completely captures the feelings felt for the 17 days that took place in this chapter. On another note, this chapter is made up of paraphrased memories from both myself and Steve. Shock took over. Completely, took over for Steve and myself. And then, the MS fog rolled in. Days have been wiped clean from our memory. Details, lost forever. We are tortured by this. But, we are thankful, none the less, to not have to carry a daily burden of those memories.

Sirens or no sirens, Grace woke up and by the time the EMT’s had arrived she was snuggling with Lenna on the couch. I don’t remember saying goodbye, but I’m sure I did. I do remember the cats finding the EMT’s equipment incredibly fascinating.

The next challenge was getting me to the ambulance. To enter my house from the driveway there are 8 steps. You are then faced with another 10 to get upstairs where the bedrooms are. They managed, and then loaded me into the back. It was my first time ever in an ambulance. This would be [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 4

By Angela March 8, 2011

This is a long one . . .sit tight.

In order to be ready for the Rehabilitation hospital I needed to learn and re-learn how to do several day to day activities. These activities included but were not limited to: transferring from the bed to the wheelchair and back, transferring from wheelchair to toilet and back, bathing and getting dressed. I couldn’t move on until I had attained a satisfactory level of understanding and accomplishment of these activities.

It was tough, it was tiring.

I would get frustrated with my body not doing what I wanted it to do. The muscles in my core were weak and it was difficult to sit up for long.

I fell off the toilet several times.

It’s ok to laugh. I did too. Then I got swear-y.

The left side of my body was still very numb and although some feeling had come back in my right arm and hand, this side of my body was very weak. There had been a lot of damage to the nerves on this side of my body. Nerves that are required to receive signals, that are sent through the central nervous system in order to have proper function were [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 5

By Angela March 9, 2011

It was going to be a short week. Monday was the holiday and I was leaving Thursday to go home before heading to the wedding, which was taking place at a resort in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.

I had a lot of work to do between Tuesday and Thursday.

I drew inspiration from the patients.

I met a lady, Cora, she was elderly, sweet and lovely. She asked me what had happened and when I explained my situation she gave me the “I’m so sorry” face with the head shake. But she didn’t dwell on it. We chatted as we did our exercises in the gym. She is from a neighbouring community and loves to garden. We bonded easily. She was sad and disappointed because she wasn’t healing as fast as she had hoped (she had broken her hip and while waiting out a 7 day delay for her surgical space at the hospital she developed an infection) and her rehabilitation was going slowly. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get in her garden. I felt for her. I wanted to be in my garden. The weather was tormenting with how beautiful it was outside. [...] continue the story

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