Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66MSFocus Summer 2016 By Randy Patrick I woke up on July 1,2012,with numbness around my tailbone that spread through- out my stomach after a few hours. I could tell if something was touching me, but it just didn’t feel normal. This was a Sunday so my doctor’s office was closed. I spoke to an on-call physician and was directed to the emergency room.I answered many questions and disclosed my normal activities. The blood work came back fine so they decided to do an MRI of my spine, which also came back fine. I was released and told to call my family doctor the next day. When I woke up the next day, the numbness had spread up into my chest and down through my legs. My feet were also very tingly. Back to the ER I went! I had another MRI (this time with contrast) of my spine and lumbar spine. These, too, showed nothing. They did more blood work, which still showed okay. I was released again and told to make an appointment with a neurologist. My neurologist told me I must have injured myself from falling while playing ice hockey. When asked about the numbness all over, I was told I was fine, that it was all anxiety and just in my head. However, he did put me on oral steroids, just in case. A few days later I started getting tingling in my fingertips, which then prompted an MRI of my c-spine (neck). This showed a lesion, which led to an MRI of the brain.This,too,showed a lesion. My neurologist all of a sudden went from “It’s all in your head” to “It’s MS. Here pick a medicine” and handed me pamphlets of disease modifying therapies. Every questionI asked about alternatives was immediately shot down. “Could it be Lyme disease?” “No! Pick a med ASAP.” Talk about a rollercoaster ride of emotions! I didn’t know what to think and had a lot of new concerns – “I’m going to be in a wheelchair, or worse!” “How would I take care of my 5-year-old son?” I was pretty bummed out. My lumbar puncture even came back perfectly normal, so all they had were two lesions from the MRIs. While waiting to see a new neurologist for a second opinion, I started doing my own research and found online forums. Talking to others affected by the disease helped me the most. I realized MS isn’t a death sentence and it’s actually manageable. There are options to help slow this thing down.“We can fight this thing!” I switched neurologists to an MS specialist and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. He 56 MS Diagnosis Inspires Connection Building