On a personal note…

Dear Fans and Readers,

I have been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder known as Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. To put it simply, my immune system has decided that my nervous system is the enemy, and it is waging periodic attacks on the protective tissue surrounding my nerve endings. These attacks result in temporary neurological difficulties and extreme fatigue that can affect daily life. There is no way to predict the duration, severity or frequency of the attacks or “flare ups.” Over time, and with repeated attacks, neurological difficulties such as paralysis or vision loss, can become permanent.

Every MS Patient experiences their own unique progression of symptoms and there is no way to predict what course my MS will take. However, the Doctor said that given that I am starting treatment with minimal damage and am otherwise healthy, and because of recent advances in medication, it will probably be 20 years or more before I experience any permanent disability.

I am posting about this publically because it is such an unpredictable illness, and because I want to be proud of who I am and not try to hide my struggles with Depression or MS. Everyone in the world is fighting some sort of battle. Never forget that, and remember to be kind.

One month ago, a Doctor looked me in the eye and said, “When a patient suddenly loses sight in one eye, obviously our first concern is some sort of brain growth.” When you hear something like that, suddenly all your priorities are clear. As I lay in the MRI machine, this was my prayer: “Let me live. Let me write. Let me continue to be a wife. Let me become a mother.” As far as I am concerned, MS is the answer to that prayer. I knew that something was wrong with my body, but all I wanted was for it to be something that I could manage. I can manage MS.

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8 thoughts on “On a personal note…

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with you, and I hope you do well on your meds. I don’t know what type of medicine you are taking, but I know the injectable steroids are supposed to slow down the progression. It sounds like you have a positive outlook on your diagnosis. Remember to put yourself first and don’t get stressed. Good luck to you and take care.

    My husband had an ‘episode’ in March of 2013. It took 4 months before he got a diagnosis of MS from a specialist here in St. Louis. She was doom and gloom and told him he would be in a wheelchair within a year. I wasn’t happy with the diagnosis or her treatment of us. A few months later the spot on his spine was gone and all of the other MS specialists that he has been to think he never had MS, but they don’t know what it was. It may very well end up being MS, we still don’t know for sure, so he goes for tests every 6 months. We’re still hopeful.

    1. How stressful to still not know! I hope that either his symptoms entirely stop or you get an answer soon. I’d been experiencing (and ignoring) the more minor MS symptoms for a year, finally the vision loss made me drag myself to a doctor. I have just barely above the normal range of smudges on my brain, and one tiny smudge on my cervical cortex. Thing is, I feel a sense of relief to not have to worry anymore IF something is wrong, and to just be treating it. I can’t imagine having to live with uncertainty like you and your husband are having to do. There is still so much that Doctors don’t know about the nervous system; they don’t even know what causes MS. I think there’s a fair chance this could be a one time thing for your husband, some virus or something that you get once and never again. Anyway, I think hopeful is the right reaction to be having!

  2. I’m sorry to hear about this. You seem very strong and wise. Rmember its ok not to be ok sometimes. Wishing the best for you and praying (@sassyfreakgirl)

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your diognosis. I was just saying to my mom after reading (if he had been with me) why does god do such bad things to people.I cried my eyes out after reading your book I truly loved it you are an amazing writer I felt every character.I am sad the book ended so I was looking for another you wrote and saw your letter. I wish you the best and thank you for being such an amazing writer.Also think how strong Autumn has to be now and you created her.

    1. Thank you so, so much for your message Allie! I will think of Autumn, thank you for pointing that out to me! I am doing pretty well so far, and I have another book coming out this April! Seriously, your message really means a lot to me, hearing from readers always makes me so happy! Wishing you well, thanks again!

  4. You are very brave Laura. I’m sorry to hear about this. You are very strong and brave just like Autumn. You have created a wonderful book with amazing characters. Your an amazing writing and an inspiration to others. 🙂

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