I was 28 years old with a baby of 10 month and a daughter of 28 months when I was diagnosed. For a few days I had blurry vision as if there was Vaseline in my eyes, and this specific day I got up and my right eye was pitch black. I closed my left eye and I could see nothing with my right eye.
I made an urgent appointment with my general practitioner, which on his turn referred me to an optometrist. The optometrist, dr Carter did a thorough checkup, but could see nothing. His exact words were, “you have an illness where the dr cannot see any faults, but the patient cannot see anything either”. He send me for a MR and the radiologist give it straight to me, “you have MS”. Those words did not mean anything to me as I did not know what this meant. I had no knowledge of this illness.
After hours at the ex-rays, I was sent to Dr Meyer, a neurologist. I was told to have my husband come over to the dr’s office and the specialist told us that I was positively diagnosed with MS. I was also told that I must be hospitalized for 5 days to receive 1000mg of cortisone a day.
After we left the doctors office, not me neither my husband had an idea about this illness.
Even months after I was diagnose, I still did not have an idea what MS was. My specialist did not think it was a great necessity to know too much about this illness. My husband read more about MS, but still we did not see it as such a “great” illness.
After about 3 relapses, we started to realize that this was actually not such a nice thing to have. My husband and I kept up with information relating to MS and ever since I started up with the injection, we have a close group which understand and keeps contact.
I basically had a relapse every year, but I recovered every time fully after the cortisone.
The worst relapse was when I lost my balance, because the doctors treated me for diarrhea because the symptom was that I was vomiting constantly. I was in hospital for 5 days, treated for diarrhea, released the Friday. After a weekend of the same symptoms, on the Monday my general practitioner immediately did 3 small tests and referred me to my neurologist. I had lost my balance, but this was the only thing that was not totally recovered after the medication. This happened in 2006. That year my doctors all suggested that I start on the injection. In June 2006 I started on Betaferon and I am still using it.
I have the perfect support system, my husband and 2 kids. The kids basically grew up with MS and they handle it quite good and my husband learned how to handle me in the worst of times.
Face it; we are not the easiest people to work with, seeing that we have extreme mood swings and anger outbursts. My husband is coping with each of these extremes of mine.
I cannot see how a person can cope with MS on their own.
I am coping with MS trough my faith, my husband and my kids.
Juanita Bezuidenhoudt (082 493 0865)