wow, this could be scary.

20Sep15

I met a new friend not too long ago. And she’s already moving away. (She was here for work, short-term.) A mutual friend hooked us up, as she’s also an active person with MS.

We got to chatting recently–she’s a few years younger than I am, and was diagnosed at a much earlier age than I was (in her late 20s). Prior to her major flare-up, she did some work as a concert violinist. However, she lost enough fine motor control in her hands–and strength holding up the instrument–that she could no longer play professionally.

She’s currently a nurse, and knows my professional background teaching physiology, so she talked about where, in her cervical spine, the MS did damage and led to all of the weakness in her arms. I’ll admit to only having caught half of her detail, because I realized that I also have a similar amount of damage, in a similar area, yet my MS has affected more my legs than arms in terms of strength. (See? All of us have such different trajectories with this disease…)

But–and I feel so silly–what I failed to realize until now is that since the nerves for the legs branch from the lumbar spine, that the bulk of my spinal damage must be lower. I told this friend that I’d only had an MRI done of my brain and cervical spine (yes, they find lots of information lower down, but it’s costly and time-consuming) and she was encouraging me to image the rest of my spine.

I have a lot of damage in the areas I already know about. Putting two and two together now, I’m thinking that I have a lot more around my lower back area. Do I want to know about it? Would it change anything? I would go from “25+ known lesions” to who knows how many…

I don’t know. I guess if I have a flare-up that involves more lower limb weakness, I’ll ask to have my whole central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) imaged. Tough call. I just figure I can’t change what’s done, right?

Until the cure is found… (holding out hope)

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