This I Believe

Annaliese - Jupiter, Florida
Entered on July 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, fear, illness

I believe…

Its Saturday morning and all the commotion begins as we get ready for my sisters travel softball tournament. We are all busy getting the coolers, the chairs, and the snacks. The main cheerleader, my mom was still in bed when I went up to her. She was complaining about a head and neck pain. She told me she felt awful and her left arm was numb. Thinking she was having a stroke of some kind I ran outside and told my dad what was wrong. He comes inside and asks if she wants to go to the emergency room. She says she is okay and does not need to go any where it is probably just a bad headache. She finally gets ready and we are off for another softball weekend.

Later on around mid afternoon her numbness moves down to her leg. Her pain is unbearable and I decide to take her to the emergency room. When we get there they put her in a room and run tests to see if it is a cardiac problem. She spends the night at the hospital as they continue to run tests on her heart. The next morning they say it has nothing to do with cardiac so they release her. The hospital still let her go after seeing that she could not walk and they had to take her out on a wheelchair.

A couple days later her right side goes completely numb. Now she can not even stand and has limited motor skills. She can not dress herself or drive. She is like a helpless little child all over again. We have been taking her to different doctors and they have been running all sorts of different tests. It has been two weeks that she has been like this when we finally get an appointment with a neurosurgeon. The doctor requests that she get an MRI and an MRA of her spine and brain done. We get the tests done that same day and return to the doctor the next day. Dr. A., the neurosurgeon diagnoses my mom with a disease called multiple sclerosis. The news does not hit me at first until the doctor starts talking about paralysis. Since this is the very first time that my mom has had an ms episode and her symptoms were strong and have lasted her over three weeks he was worried that my mom would have some form of paralysis.

It has now been four weeks since it all started and we are all still stuck in the same spot we started at. We are still waiting for her to start her medication. It has taken so long to get her on treatment. Every day is a struggle but you have to take it a day at a time. It is amazing how such a healthy person has become so incapable of so much. My mom, my hero, is learning to walk with a cane and use her left side to eat and write. She still needs help when it comes to getting dressed and sometimes she loses her balance so she constantly has to be watched.

This has just come out of no where and has hit us all in the face. Our mom went from attending our sports and activities and cheering us on the sidelines to not being able to go to any of our games because she can not walk and the medication she is taking does not let her stay out in the sun. We are now her cheerleaders as we cheer her on to getting better. She is trying to hide the pain from my little brothers and sisters but I know how she is feeling. To me she is the strongest person and I admire her for everything she is and does. I believe that things should not be taken for granted.