Thursday, May 05, 2005

This Is The Way Ours Started, How About You?

Wow! It seems like a century ago, instead of only ten years, that we were informed by her doctor the tests were positive. She did have MS!

A couple of years before that proclamation, we had started walking around the block with the next door neighbors. Now and then, her left foot would catch on the asphalt as we walked. We didn't suspect any ailments at the time. Her doctor's words shed light on not only that, but other things in her past. With many MS patients, and many neurological disorders, the doctors run an object under the foot and watch for the toes to curl under. With my wife, as far back as our early years of marriage, I could tickle her feet and get no response at all. Funny what sticks in your mind.

How did we know to have her tested? We didn't. She had just started a new job and within a week was in a team builder class. The first day of class, she had noticed her face had been tingly, and when it came time for lunch, she tried to reach for her purse with her left arm. It wouldn't do what she wanted it to.

Tell me now, if your left arm wouldn't operate all of a sudden, and the left side of your face was tingly, what would you think?... Had it been me, my first thought would have been perhaps heart attack, stroke and who knows what else. I would have been in total panic and running for an emergency room. My overly dedicated wife faked it and finished the rest of the day.

I opened the door for her when she came home and there were tears streaming down her face. This was very unlike her. I asked what was wrong, and after she explained the events of the day, I told her she might as well not sit down, she was headed for the hospital. Fortunately I didn't have to fight her too much about it.

It is way amazing how quickly you can jump ahead of other people waiting in the ER when you mention tingling on the left side and inability to move your left arm. I was very impressed at their speed. She was hooked up to EKG's, EEG's, had a cat scan, blood tests, and various doctors and nurses fussing over her. Finally our family doctor's office called in a Neurologist and he did some other tests. He noted in particular that her reflexes were very pronounced..something to the effect that when he tapped below her knee, she took out two walls in the ER with the resulting kick..well maybe that is exaggeration, but it was pretty intense. He could also pull up hard on the bottom of her foot and it would bounce pretty good.

This is when I sort of got in trouble. They called me back to be with her and explained a little of what was happening. She was to be scheduled for an MRI. She was adamant about not wanting to stay at the hospital. I told her they would most likely run the test and send her home. It took quite awhile before she let me live down that I had lied to her. Sure enough, right after I told her she would go home, they admitted her.

After I got her settled in her room for the night, I called our dear friends next door and told them what was going on. Does anyone here know the feeling of being in total control of your emotions and then someone who cares about you asks that one little question that brings the whole thing crashing down? That one question is of course "Are you alright?" I can really appreciate the caring and love that brings that question out of their mouth, but the power it has for breaking down the dam of emotion is phenomenal. You know, ten years later, I have had that dam built back up almost to completion and something will happen to tear it down again.


At 5:23 AM, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

Followed the link from Eriks site. It's hard to learn that you are ill, it's even more difficult when you learn that someone you love is impacted and there is nothing you can do about it. Stay strong. There is a huge group of people out there living and thriving under the painful situation you have found yourself in.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Eriksgirl said...


Sorry it has taken me so long to write in. Thanks for your blog. I hope you will keep it going, because I don't think that there is another one like it. Certainly there are people, like me, who are afraid of what the future holds, and it is nice to see that someone is writing about what their experience has been.


At 12:01 PM, Blogger neil said...

My wife has MS. I am always interested in reading others' experiences about loved ones with MS.

However, I think your Mannatech links cheapen the whole experience. I expected to hear stories similar to mine, not see links to MLMs. Are you trying to initiate discussion among MS caregivers or simply push product and build your downline? Integrity is a big concept in my book.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Wayne Aaron said...

Neil, I apologize if my links cheapened this effort. I had good intentions. I am removing the MLM link, but I believe strongly in the products and their potential for helping people with MS and will leave that link in place should anyone have interest in something that helped my wife. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. I really don't want to offend anyone.

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