My story shows how exercise has been beneficial in controlling my MS.
June 2008, me and my husband just purchased our second home. An exciting time in our lives, but at the same time stressful. I noticed I just did not feel right, I was having episodes of double and blurry vision. My eldest son finally took me to the Emergency room as my husband works on the road. The physician on staff ordered an MRI. I scheduled an appointment with the Neurologist to review the results of the MRI.
In the weeks leading up to this appointment, my symptoms got worse. I had so many things going on inside my body but the worst had to be the Vertigo, which was so severe it caused me to vomit multiple times per day which led to a drastic loss of weight. At this visit with the Neurologist, I had a lumbar puncture completed which showed the undeniable diagnosis of MS.
In my mind I was relieved to know they had a reason to why I was sick. I began doing some research and thought to myself, “I do not have time for this thing called MS.” I became angry as there were many tears of discouragement as I began to have trouble walking without assistance. I tried to live a normal everyday life by ignoring MS and never complaining. I though to myself, “I have a lot of life left and I do not want to live it being sick.”
I tried many different medications for treatment, but most did not agree with my body. I had many different side effects including my white cell count levels being in the basement. My Neurologist decided to try to go a period of no medications as my symptoms had leveled off. At this point, my muscles did not exist. I had trouble doing the 7 stairs of our deck.
Almost 8 years later, I decided to join a fitness center and begin a regular exercise routine. Day one at the gym, I weighed 187 pounds and took 21 minutes to walk a mile. Today I weighed in at 153 pounds and am training to complete a 5K race this fall. Not bad for a 54-year-old who never exercised. Not only have I learned how to exercise, but how to eat healthy.
Today I feel healthier than I have in my whole life. Don’t get me wrong, it has not been an easy journey as there were days I had 100 plus reasons to skip my workout, but 3 reasons to do my workout (Health, Body, and Mental Attitude). The training staff at my gym have given me the keys that I need to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself.
My advice to anyone with MS is to get up and get moving. It is not going to be easy, but the benefits are amazing.
In closing, I want to share one of my favorite saying: “I may have MS, but it does not have me.”