One Woman’s Powerful Story of Living with Multiple Sclerosis
The symptoms first began as back pain for Colleen. She thought that these pains were from the whiplash she experienced during a car accident that happened several years prior.
After several years of minimal improvement, Colleen began to worry that there was something seriously wrong. It didn't make sense that her whiplash would cause her so much pain and irritation that simply would not go away.
For Colleen, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis started with a pain in the back and she dismissed them thinking that those pains were due to the whiplash she had experienced in a car accident which had occurred several years earlier. But when it did not reduce and kept on occurring then it made Colleen worried that something is not right. After years of constant back pain, Colleen decides to visit a neurologist for further diagnosis. The doctor performed certain scans and test such as MRI and spinal tap which then revealed that Colleen was suffering from multiple sclerosis. Finally, she was relieved that she had the answers to her pain but there were now fears about this medical condition.
She also feared as to how she would raise her five children along with dealing with this disease. MS is a damaging disease and can take away the independence of the individual as the disease worsens or progresses. Hence it was quiet a challenging as well as difficult time for Colleen. With every passing day the disease also progressed and now she had realized that she had taken her independence for granted. Colleen now started to feel tired an weak but on one particular day her husband was quiet worried since Colleen did not wake up from her sleep for two days.
She was taken to the doctor where she was not much responsive. The doctors also realized that Colleen was in for a lot of trouble. It was found out that her lungs and kidneys stopped functioning wherein she was on ventilator now and doctors had lost hope. She was in the ICU for more than a month’s time. Due to her sickness she was unconscious most of the time. Finally, she started coming into consciousness. One day she realized that she had developed gangrene on her toes and hand and the doctors told her that they would have to amputate her hand and foot. This left Colleen very helpless and she just cried.
Post the surgery, Colleen was awakened to a missing foot and just one hand. She had to endure painful therapy before finally making it out of the ICU. She had spent ten days of recovery and asked the doctors to allow her to go home. Initially the doctors were very reluctant to release her due to her condition but they finally agreed to let her go home. She was wheeled back home along with her husband and mother.
As the disease started progressing, Colleen started becoming more and more dependent on others for carrying out the task. She was lucky to have a supportive family by her side who took her every challenge in a positive stride. Colleen’s mother would come home in the morning and carry out most of the task and also help her with morning rituals. But unfortunately with so much of pain and suffering she passed away in 2017. Her story is one of the powerful one that tells us to not take life for granted and also it is her tale of courage and strength to battle out the pain of multiple sclerosis.