I was only 12 when the doctor told me I was “faking it." But I knew my arm numbness was real. And it was moving up towards my shoulders.
Luckily, my mom believed me. She took me to another doctor and then even more specialists. At the age of 13, I was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis.
Between sixth and ninth grade, I was not stable at all. New lesions kept popping up even on the different medications. I was homeschooled because I was in the hospital and at doctor's appointments so much. I felt like crap all the time. I was tired and grumpy. Sick of being stuck with needles and bloated from steroids. Finally, the doctors decided chemo would be the best option to stop the attacks. That was hard. I’ll never do that again.
I found my comfort in music. I took piano lessons and did recitals and all that stuff. I played piano for a long time. I also coped by making jokes out of everything I was going through. I mean, the worst that could happen is I could die. That is going to happen anyway. So why worry about it. Instead, joke about it.
When I graduated high-school everybody was in shock. There were so many years that my parents didn't know if I would be able to. Then, when I graduated from college with my degree in psychology, it was so cool. I was having experiences that we never expected me to have.
But giving up was never an option for me. It’s not in my personality. I still don’t give up. If I need to take a day and take a break, I do. But I never felt like it was an option just to give up.
It's been one heck of a ride, but like I always say, ”You’ve got to grow through what you go through”.