Saturday, March 11, 2006

diagnosis part VI: march eleventh, nineteen-ninety seven

i never knew if i was actually clausterphobic or just afraid my extra weight would get me stuck, but i answered yes when the neurologist asked if i was affraid of small spaces. this answer was rewarded with a tiny little pill- an ativan.

when i get nervous, i feel like an insect. i imagine that my non-stop speedy chatter must sound like a high pitched humming. i just don't shut up. my mom says watching the ativan take effect was similar to turning the tv off, one second, an entire show is taking place and then nothing. i dont remember feeling any different after then before. the rest of the office however, was probably quite pleased with this sudden silence.

i don't really remember much about the mri. it was a tight tube. it was loud. the ativan had me making up little stories about being stuck in a jeffries tube on deck 25 of the uss starship enterprise (ncc-1701-d). it was alot easier then the spinal tap.

i was pretty fed up with the process of getting diagnosed by this point.


finally, finally-finally dr. kinsella tells me i have ms. he tells me the spinal tap was normal, he tells me the mri showed classic signs of ms (i was kinda fuming inside that they didnt bother to do the mri before the lumbar puncture), he gives me the name of neurologists at the dekalb medical center on north decatur road, which was really close to the house i rented.

and that was it. sitting here, writing this, i once again have that saying in my head "before enlightenment, i chopped wood and carried water. after enlightenment, i chopped wood and carried water". nothing was different . while in the long run, getting diagnosed greatly altered my entire life, it would first take a couple more years of my wayward days and a very unpleasant night in jail to get to that point...but thats a story for another night.


Anonymous said...


My aunt had MS. Her first episode was when she was 22 and a mother of a small son. My grandmother always said that if my aunt just hadn't ridden in that convertible she would have been just fine. She had taken a ride in my uncle's brand spanking new convertible a few days before the first episode. She dealt with your disease long before the advent of technology that you had to submit to for diagnosis. The relation of your story has brought back memories of my aunt but I really had never related to the "early years" of her disease. Imagine 1937 and numbness in your face and hands that was unexplicable by anyone in the medical profession tht you had access to.

Thanks, Molly, for bringing my aunt's reality more into focus for me.

It is brave of you to share your story so that others will know that they are not alone.


molly said...

thank you for your support. after diagnosis, i was actually able to go back and explain many things (like numbness) i had been through. i often think of those who came before. your grandmother sounds like she had to be a brave woman herself

molly said...

sorry gloria, your aunt, not your grandmother. i was litstening.

Locations of visitors to this page
adopt your own virtual pet!