The Struggle to Survive Life With Multiple Sclerosis
My Story with the MS Poltergeist
In 2013 multiple areas of my body were rapidly declining and I was under investigation for the root cause of these issues. Eventually, a long-awaited MRI came back visualizing lesions all over my brain and C-spine (neck) and I was diagnosed with MS (early 2014). When I heard the news, I grabbed my MRI report, ‘ran’ home and then had my first (and only ever) panic attack. Like ‘what the fork just happened’?! Between not being able to breathe and the disbelief of what I’d just heard, I was physically sick to my stomach. My dog looked at me like I was a complete freak show!
Once I was calm enough, I grabbed my ski gear and hauled myself up Whistler Mountain to meet a friend who I planned to ski with that day. I told her the news, in between tears, then skied off trusting my (numb) legs would take me down the Mountain as they’d done hundreds of times in the past.
In the days following, I felt devastated beyond comprehension and was catapulted into a state of angst. I’d known since a teenager what a future looked like with MS. And I never wanted to be like that. It wasn’t simply the knowledge that I had an incurable, degenerative neurological disease; there was also this profound sensation that a gruesome creature had moved into my very sense of being.
Generally speaking, I knew what a poltergeist was from watching the movie the Poltergeist (1982) where demonic ghosts terrorized a family’s home. It was the impact of this movie that made me feel as though this creature in me was a poltergeist. It was seething and pulsating, without my permission through my body, wreaking havoc and insane pain as it went. I felt as though my brain was on fire. Soon enough, I was submerged by the more advanced symptoms of the disease and hospitalized.
I have read a lot of people have said that their diagnosis altered their life positively. It made them want to get healthy, exercise, change their ways for the better. For me, I was already really healthy and fit, and was living life to the fullest. I had been a person who was grateful for everything my body did for me. The disease took so much away from me, and my life, that I saw zero reason why this happened to me. But it did.
This is my story with my MS poltergeist.