Written 4 years ago about how my MS Journey started. As I begin to share more about this journey, I thought it was really important to share where I have come from first!
Let me set the scene…
It started on the day of the Men’s Wimbledon Final.
Spectacularly sunny, a few of us headed to a loca
l beer garden showing the match. My favourite pint of cider in hand, I settled down to watch the game, and we swapped notes excitedly between sets! Except… I was slurring my words a little… Shame faced I checked and had only had about a third of my pint…how embarrassing…I assumed everyone would think I was drunk! Quietly I sipped my drink, and just tried to enjoy Andy Murray winning.
Lets jump to Tuesday.
Everything was getting hard. If I had closed my eyes, I would have been fast asleep. I was avoiding taking phone calls, or having any unnecessary conversations. I can only describe trying to speak, as dragging the words through thick, sludgy mud, and trying to push them out to form a word.
Our weekly managers meeting was unavoidable. At this point, the problem was very real, usually pretty opinionated with a solid input, I was dreading simply speaking. When the time came that I could no longer avoid it, I rapidly apologised saying that I was stuttering a little, and please to bear with me! I knew that my speech had reached a point where the only sane conclusion by my colleagues, could be that I was drunk or on drugs of some sort in work. Not a good look!
I struggled through the meeting and the rest of the day, and looking back made a mental decision. I really thought that I was just tired and stressed, and didn’t want that to be an excuse not to train. 30 minutes later on the treadmill I just couldn’t carry on, but still convinced myself that a good nights sleep would do the trick.
Sleepily, I pretty much jumped out of bed, out the door, and onto the bus. I had been bare faced the day before and thought I better make a little effort, with colleagues having asked if I was ill. A bit of lippy works wonders after all! Well in this case, my scarlet lipstick was what shocked me into reality!
I can do my lipstick without a mirror, its fair to say Im a bit of a pro, but checking it in my small vanity mirror, one side of my mouth looked really low. Hastily checking where I had put the liner I didn’t really believe that I could have got it that wrong. As it slowly dawned on my that I hadn’t, and that one side of my mouth was lower than the other, my heart started racing.
Trying to smile into the mirror – only one side of my mouth smiled back at me. Panic. My mind was racing and tears rolling down my face, this must be a stroke? Good god why wouldn’t my face move? Other passengers peered a little anxiously in my direction.
So I wiped my eyes, told myself not to panic, and to check it in a full sized mirror in work. The rest is a blur. All I remember is standing in front of the mirror and realising that I was right. Still determined to be composed, I went to grab one of the other managers. On being greeted by one, I broke down straight away in a mess of tears, hyperventilating, and trying to get my words out.
They tried to stay calm and were brilliant, but even through my shock I could see the realisation on their face, “you were slurring yesterday weren’t you, you were getting annoyed with yourself…”. That plus a droopy face equals something seriously wrong. They grabbed another female manager, who positively took my arm, and marched me to A&E.
So the scene is set!
I’ll tell all that happened next and since then. I don’t know if this blog will interest anyone…but my plan is use it to document my journey.