In addition to the continence advice, my neurologist also sent me for another MRI scan. This was completed in Sept 2009, nine months after my original scan.
Before it was completed he saw me at an outpatients clinic and seemed pleased with how I was doing. In fact, his words were simple, “If I hadn’t seen your MRI scan, I would be convinced that you were doing well, so my advice would be for you to go off, enjoy your life, plan your wedding and I’ll see you at the start of 2010.”
But, just a week or so after the MRI scan I got an unexpected appointment to go in and see him again. Naturally, this worried me. And I was right to be worried. He immediately told my fiancé and I that the MRI showed new areas of demyelination. For these to have occurred in less than nine months was a scary prospect.
So a new plan of action has been taken and I am now being referred to an MS specialist at the end of this month. Since then things have taken a downward turn.
My attitude has not changed - I’ll talk about that at a later stage - but I have suffered a few setbacks. The major one involves my feet. At the end of October they started to get a bit numb on the outside edges and it was initially so slight that I hardly even noticed, if anything my shoes sort of felt tight. But then it was very obvious.
I remember having a bit of a cry to myself, but it was more to do with what I thought was coming up ahead than the actual numbness itself. Over the course of a few weeks they did get worse and by the time Christmas came around, I could barely walk.
The numbness started to be intermingled with a burning sensation, which would then give way to a series of pins and needles. It’s a weird feeling, hard to describe and I almost find that what I’ve written doesn’t quite do it justice.
There are also moments when I touch my feet and they are ice-cold, but I can’t feel it. Then when they heat up, they are lukewarm to the touch but absolutely burning inside. At one stage the pins and needles crept right up my foot into my ankle, and the pain was hard to bear. I started hobbling about on my heels, desperately trying to keep the weight off the foot to try and minimise the pain.
It was then that I spent a whole week laid up, moving only to use the bathroom and little else.
To say I found this time hard is an understatement. It was very isolating and my mood dropped considerably. Family and friends were busy getting prepared for Christmas and I know if I had asked them to visit they would have done so but I felt guilty taking them away from busy schedules.
In the end, I made myself get dressed up and join people for dinner and a few drinks here and there. I always drove, or was driven, rarely drank alcohol and was always home before midnight - but the company and atmosphere in itself was enough to get my mood up.
By the New Year the pain had moved from an unbearable grade 10 to a more manageable grade 3. That’s where I am today.