This I Believe

Alexis - aventura, Florida
Entered on January 28, 2007

Before my Winter Break from school I went to the doctor because there had been something going on in my body that was foreign to me. The doctor took a lot of blood, did physical neurological tests and asked me about my family history. Turns out my Grandfather died of Lou Gherigs Disease, a neurological disorder. With that, it increased my risks for having one too and they wanted to do more tests. Because my symptom, “parasthesia” is a symptom of some major stuff like Multiple Sclerosis for one, I had to have these tests. Because of this delightful device called, The Internet, I knew exactly what they were going to say. I didn’t say anything, I let the doc do his job but I even wrote it down on a post it note and put it in my wallet before I went because I knew what he was about to say.

A chest x-ray, 6 viles of blood, physical testing, a $20 copay, waiting, and an exam later, I left. I left feeling horrible. I mean, this disease, MS, is a horror and I knew this. I read about everyyything. I called my Best guy Mike, who is in medical school, hoping for any type of retort against the doctors beliefs but he agreed with the doctor’s prognosis. I spoke to a doctor on the computer who tried to reassure me, “We have great meds now for people with a light case of MS” but come on. Medicine only works for so long. Then what? Live with a dehabilitating illness with a smile on my face?

I went to school later on in the day, scared out of my mind and of course, unhappy. I spent the next few days thinking I was going to die, looking at people at work around me and thinking about how they are overweight, eat unhealthy foods and yet, I might be the sick one. The youngest one and the one who’s all messed up. I cursed my Grandfather who I met once for being a loser and for only leaving us with his decrepit genes.

Then my blood test results came in. I found out through mail. I called the doctors office and requested my results by phone but they said I would have to come in. I called a friend, in fear, and told her what I was about to go do. I went to the office and again paid a $20 copay. I sat for an hour and finally I was called into the back by a black heavy set nurse who told me that she had the same Vans that I had on. My temperature had risen because of nerves. Isn’t that strange? I had 99.something and I wasn’t even sick. I soon found out that my blood was fine. I left the office feeling a little better but still waiting.

With a false sense of reassurance this news still made me feel better. I say false because in actuality, MS only shows up with an MRI of the brain. Blood had nothing to do with it. With MS, your brain does not produce enough myelin. They needed to see my brain.

My doc ordered 3 different MRI scans. Only one was approved for my symptoms. I went for my MRI on a Thursday morning at 7am. I figured, the earlier the better. I told them I was claustrophobic because I just didn’t want to be in that stupid tube. I was in some other version of that stupid tube instead. I was given ear plugs because the noise is immense. It starts to sound like a hip hop beat after a while. I found myself nodding in and out of some weird medatative state listening to the noises. For some reason, even being loud but bearable through my ear plugs, they were soothing. I was able to drift off into them.

Last week I found that my MRI results were in. I went to a full faculty meeting, frightened-not as much as before-thinking, “what the hell am I going to do if I have this thing?” I went to the office, paid a $20 copay, and followed the same procedure as before with the same big boned nurse.

I was lead into the examination room where my blood pressure was taken. From nerves, it dropped to 96 over 67. That’s nutty. They brought the results of my MRI into the room and moved them to my file. While the nurse did this I followed the page with my eye. Even from 3 feet away I could read the print. I looked closer and read,

“The MRI of the brain revealed that there is no sign of any Multiple Sclerosis related lesions. The brain scan proved to be unremarkable.”

I remember this because I constantly read MRI’s when I worked for the law office. Either way, from that second on I was okay. I exhaled like Angela Basset burning down her husbands car in the Arizona desert only to snap a few times and just waltz inside. When I left the office, I cannot relate to you as to how I felt. I felt light, happy, light hearted, lucky. We’re so lucky. We’re so lucky our fingers move and that we are okay and that we have fun and enjoy each other. I mean ALL OF US. I love my family, my other family, my friends, my dog, my job, the air, the sky, being happy, laughing, just sharing a bond, being okay, everything. I love music, I love reading, I love working out, I love my job, I even love the show, “I Love New York,” on VH1. It’s just different and I dont want to forget. I hope I dont.