We took the boys for my visit to the Shepherd Spinal MS Institute for the initial consultation. After they finally received my records from my local neurologist, they were able to get me in pretty quick. When the Case Manager called me and said September 1st was the day they could see me, I may have hesitated a bit. September 1st is the day my Mother died thirty one years ago. I finally conceded and smiled to myself thinking "Guess where my Mama would be on September 1st if she were here?" No doubt she would be with me at my appointment or getting my boys to school and back. In the absence of parents and non-working relatives, making arrangements for someone to get my boys to and from school with such short notice was a challenge. Because of this, Daniel and I with the twins in tow, embarked on our first MS adventure together in Atlanta.
I am very pleased to say that we were all impressed with the MS Institute. It was a refreshing change to have my issues addressed and some issues validated. Chronic bladder issues that I have suffered with for years were met with concern and not just passed off. Each time I brought them up in the past, I was told “don’t blame everything on MS.” (You should not blame everything on MS because you could miss a very important underlying issue.) During my visit to the Shepherd Clinic, I was not told how healthy/good I looked and sent away with unanswered questions. That is the problem with an auto-immune disease. You can look perfectly healthy and have well-meaning friends and family discount how truly bad you feel. If you are getting that from your trusted neurologist, it is perhaps time to make a change. Since the first appointment at Shepherd, I am relieved to know we actually have options. The bladder issues I am having, that I was told in the past have nothing to do with my MS, will finally be addressed. I am scheduled to see the urologist at the Shepherd Center soon. Most important of all, we as a family have a renewed since of hope. There is no fullness of life, in my opinion, in the absence of hope. In the darkest of days a small flicker of hope can shine like the sun!
While I met with the doctor, the boys sat in the waiting room. I was in there for well over an hour and a half. When we finished the appointment, we took them to the Varsity for lunch as a special treat. It was their first time and they were excited despite the chaos, with the loud counter workers bellowing “what’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?!?” as they were taking orders at the busy lunch hour. After we placed our super healthy orders, Jake stayed back with Daniel to help with our food order while Zack and I found us a table.
Zack took my hand across the table and said “You know Mama, there were a lot of people that came in the MS center after you went back to meet with your doctor. All I can say is I am so thankful that you are doing as well as you are. There were people that you could tell were really struggling with MS. We are blessed.” Although I really wouldn’t have chosen to keep them out of school and see the potential consequences of Multiple Sclerosis, I think it was a good educational visit to see people at various stages of the disease process. I don’t want them to be fearful, but aware. While my future is uncertain, we have hope that we can stay in a place of stability for a long time.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. Always remember to keep HOPE alive in your heart!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/1015/0055