The following article was originally published on MultipleSclerosis.net:
I was always a very active business owner, running a retail store, working 60-70 hours a week. As a young woman, I used to roller skate and ballroom dance competitively. But in the years past I look back and realize symptoms began several years ago with my Spasms in my feet and toes. I thought my right foot was sprained – reminder of jumping over a fence as a young woman, but a few years ago and several times later, my toes curled up when getting ready to drive, my feet had spasms and I could not walk or move during the middle of the night, but again I just kept working.
Then dizziness, funky feeling in my walk became nick named Spinny Dizzies, one day wearing higher heels than normal, not having eaten, which was normal, I was walking to the restroom and my right side began to wibble, wobble, and I fell. The hotel was worried, everyone began to flag Tina – go to the Doctor, that could lead to a stroke. I chilled, had some water and spoke to a group of women and went to a clinic shortly after.
I had no health insurance; I feared Ovarian cancer even though it never ran in my family, but I had all the same symptoms. The clinic after waiting 5+ hours, missing an important appointment, I managed to talk them into doing my blood test then. Going back as follow up, I again waited even though I was there an hour + early. “Miss Holden everything is fine. Your cholesterol is slightly elevated but all looks good,” comment from Dr. was, “Miss Holden you appear to be disappointed.” I kindly looked at him and said.”You do not understand I know something is not right.”
This all began way back as far as 2010. My proactive nature and investigation of understanding was asking about family. I learned that I had 2 cousins and ONE aunt with MS but again going to another Doctor, she said, “you know your body,” and ordered an Ultrasound for Ovarian Cancer and some blood tests. I got the blood tests but never the ultrasound and several weeks later I was at a Health fair and signed up for a complimentary Chiro exam. And going back, the ah ha moment of digestive and spine connected, but he said to me, “I want you to see and think you should see a Neurologist.” I said,”Why?” He said,”Because you are showing symptoms of MS.”
A few weeks later, still not feeling right and afraid with no health insurance I said, if I do not feel better the next morning I was going to the hospital. Well that AM, I went to a group that was spiritual and a prayer was done and immediately later, walked across the street to the hospital and 6 days later, 3 tests later, a CT checks out fine, MRI comes back with lesions on my brain, and I worry how can a dreamer, creator like myself, have lesions on my brain? Then the Spinal Tap confirms – the Doctors were following the trail, they saw and listened to the symptoms and it was confirmed Sept 2011 I had MS.
I say that out of all the diseases I got the best one. Why and how can I say that? Well, I feel it is one of the most researched and educated ones today. And although I believe at least 90% of my issues are spinal and my life has changed in many ways, it was a wake up reminder that life is not all about Work. I was chosen for this journey and other things were breaking and every step of the way is a walk up a new mountain. One day at a time and ONE step at a time. I now say, the kids I never had — I now have a new kid — it is MS. It acts up every now and then, and the businesses and brands that I have created the past 30+ years have to share the limelight with this one some. But although I was chosen, it will not get me down and it has become a HUGE part of my WHY!! It is a disability but one that I will not allow to limit me and easier for me than most.
I used my cane for the first time a few weeks ago while being in a pageant. I backed out of a dance on stage because of a small heel and fear of falling and I used my first scooter while at MS discovery a few months ago. By the end of that day, I got my DL for driving one and everyone laughed with me, not at me.
I am as happy as I can be and more on purpose than ever. And I give more time and things to others than ever before and I believe in being cautious, which is ONE of the most valued lessons out there. Without me, there is nothing else that matters more.
I am doing as much as I can naturally. The short time going on my chosen Medication of choice — although no side effects — my liver elevated to0 badly and I was pulled off.
This is a new journey and I embrace each and every day.
Thank you for letting me share!!
For more information about Tina and articles she has created about MS, please visit her website.