My journey started with a slow onset of symptoms. Over a period of three months, I started having strange nerve sensations in my right leg and when anything cold, like water, touched it, there would be a misfire of signals causing pain. Eventually, I started to feel like the outer part of my leg was going numb and I didn’t have full sensation when I would touch or rub my skin. I thought that perhaps, I was having some nerve issues stemming from my lumbar discs that I’ve had in the past. Soon after that, my left leg started to have issues. I woke up one day and couldn’t flex my toes or foot upward. Being in the medical field, I was certainly aware of foot drop.
By the next day, my entire leg started to involuntarily cramp in the middle of the night. It was so severe that I would have to stand up and straighten my leg in order to get it to stop. It was extremely painful. My left leg went “dead” over the next week. I was dragging it around, up and down my house stairs and had to lift it in and out of my car. I was waiting for an appointment with my doctor the following week to ask for a lumbar MRI. When I finally saw my doctor, she watched me drag my leg and then told me that I needed to immediately go over to the ER which was across the parking lot. They quickly assessed and sent me for a full spine and brain MRI that took 2.5 hours of laying in the tunnel. A neurologist and neurosurgeon were consulted. They came back to say they saw a large lesion on my spinal cord from C-7 – T-2. They admitted me into the Neuro unit for a week to give me extreme high doses of steroids to see if the inflammation would decrease so I could gain function of my leg back. I was literally scared that I would lose function of my left leg forever. I learned quickly that we take our health for granted and one day can change everything. After the second day of steroids, I didn’t have much change in my leg, so they weren’t sure if the steroids were going to work. I was then sent for a lumbar puncture and my CSF did show inflammation and five oligoclonal bands, which is indicative of MS, but I had no lesions on my brain.