The muscle relaxants worked…whew!…but i had to go back for the MRI and test results. I’d never had an MRI, had no clue what to expect – lemme just say that good thing i am not claustrophobic. The technician put a “hanibal” looking mask around my head, gave me some ear plugs and said, “Just lie flat, try not to move and I’m going to take a few pictures of ur brain. U will hear some loud noises and the test should last about 1/2 hr.” She left the room…I was lying on a flat surface (don’t remember if it was a bed or not) and there was another larger flat surface hanging above me. She then said into a mike from the other room, “ok, we’re going to start now.” the flat surface above me started coming down and stopped within an inch of my face and i had to stay like that for the duration of the test – needless to say it was one of the longest 1/2 hours of my life.
This picture is a much newer version of the machine i was in/under/between.
I went back to see the neurologist, he came into the examination room and he said, “Mrs. O’brien, u’ve either had a mini stroke or u have Multiple Sclerosis.” Please indulge me for a a minute…many times before the eyebrow twitching, i used to feel a tingling in my left arm and everytime it happened, i would jokingly tell my sister that i was having a stroke and she would laugh and tell me that i was an ass and we would move on with our day…now here is this neurologist (who i’ve since dropped; he didn’t have a good bedside manner and he INSISTED on calling me Mrs. O’Brien – dumb ass) telling me that it’s possible that i had had a mini stroke in the past…WHAT?!?!?!
From what I remember, he proceeded to tell me a little about MS and then told me that we would have to do more tests to be absolutely sure because of course I would get the disease for which there is no definitive test. The tests?
- A Visual Evoked Potential Test (what the hell is that)
- A Lumbar Puncture (all i’ve heard about this is how painful it is!!!!!)
Wait a minute…I din’t sign up for this…didn’t Richard Pryor die from MS…I wasn’t ready…not now…not at all…WTF?!?!?
So it started simply enuf. I woke up 1 day and my eyebrow started twitching – no biggie, that happens ever so often….well 2 weeks later, it was a pain in my ass….I decided to go see my PCP. He referred me to a neurologist…oh goody!
Of course, in these times a self diagnosis is also important, so I went to WebMD and entered a “twitching eyebrow” to see what would come up…by the time i went to the neurologist, my sister and i had diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy – WRONG! (this is why we don’t have our medical degrees)
I went to the neurologist, he examined me and said that he wasn’t too sure so i would have to have an MRI done. i ws still ok at that point, but i wanted something to stop the twitching – because at this point, it was embarrassing. It had moved!! The entire lower left side of my face was CONSTANTLY twitching/moving/vibrating…I couldn’t take it…he prescribed some muscle relaxants and sent me on my way…I would be back in 2 weeks to get the results of the MRI.
So i decided to start this blog to share the story of my living with MS for the past few years and how it’s changed my life.