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Exactly one year ago yesterday, at 4 pm, I underwent an MRI, thinking that SOMETHING was wrong. My doctor had scheduled it on that Monday because he had an inkling based upon my symptoms (optic neuritis and a previous neck infection).

Today, one year ago, about this time, I call my doctor's office. The MRI results were read the evening before, because they sent me to a place that has radiologists on staff the entire day, and can turn the results in the VERY next day to the doctor.

The receptionist informed me that "the doctor needs to see you today".

I freaked out. Didn't know WHAT was wrong. Called my roomie, told him the doc wanted to see me, and I was afraid to drive. He coudn't help me. Called my mom, she dropped EVERYTHING (and she manages a store) to come get me and go with me to the doctor's office.

Well, longer story involved, but he told me there was a 90% chance I have MS, a 5% chance of encephamalitis, or an extremely small chance of Metastatic Brain Cancer, but the radiologist and himself both belive it's MS. show you the strength I had somehow just found, I told him "I'll take that 90% because I know it's not terminal, and although it can not be beaten at this point, I'll do whatever is asked to stay in life".

He was shocked I took it that well. I had done my research. I have an aunt with MS. My grandmother was in the hospital due to angina, and no one wants my to call her at the hospital and tell her. I have no choice but to be strong.

Mom and I talked about this diagnosis for a while, and I got MAD at her because she started crying about it all. The doctor had told me NOT to drive until my vision repaired itself, and where's she at? She's in the drivers seat of her new SUV crying after Susan (receptionist) gets me scheduled for my first neurologist appointment. "Mom, do I have to go against doctor's order 5 minutes after he tells me not to drive??!!!!???"

My sister, when I tell her, starts crying, acting like it's terminal, or that her problems are soooo minor to mine, and that she shouldn't be laying her problems on me at all, or whining about them. I yelled at her many times about this. Now she knows better than to try to take on my issues. They are MINE, and mine alone, and she knows that I have a handle on them, and a good sense of humor about it!

My grandma even took it well. When she got home from the hospital, I called her and told her. My mom and aunt had visited her right after I was told, and she had a feeling something was going on and asked them if everyone was allright. Aunt and mom both looked at each other, then said "everything's ok". Grandma knew something was wrong then. When I told her, she said "Call Tonna, she'll talk to you about it".

My aunt, Tonna, who had never really talked to ANYONE in the family about MS, started talking about it with everyone after I told her I have it. She is always asking about me, and calling me to see how I'm doing. We share information between each other.....

Sooo....happy anniversary to me. 3 flareups, hundreds of shots, and thousands of dollars later, I'm still here, I'm still working, and I'm still enjoying life. The only changes are that I have to watch the heat, I know more about MS than I ever really cared to know, my aunt and I have a better relationship than she has with her siblings, and I can give myself a shot both subcutaneously, and intramuscularly. And I have friends here that I care about who have listened to me whine and complain about this, that and the other through this entire year.

I can't say my life is any better or any worse. It's just different.

Happy anniversary to me.

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