“A cramp in my right thigh lasted for three days. The last two fingers on each hand went numb. I was tested for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and when the results were negative, they sent me for an MRI. Once they saw the lesions, they knew immediately it was Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was 22 years old.
It’s been 15 years since I was diagnosed, and this is my first time being hospitalized due to MS. I’ve been here for about seven months (January – July 2017). I came in with a urinary tract infection. Now I’m in a wheelchair. That’s just how MS progresses sometimes. It’s a lot of little things, like going to the bathroom. Sometimes I can’t control it because MS affects the muscles in my bladder. If I get a fever, it feels tremendously different for me than it would to someone else. I have to be careful out in the sun, too, because if I get too hot, I can’t cool down naturally as fast as other people can. So eventually when I go home I’ll have to have someone there with me for seven hours a day in case I need anything.
It’s been quite the adventure but everyone here has been excellent. They make it feel like we are a little family here. As far as being in the hospital for months on end goes, they help make it ok. I’ve been working with the rehabilitation team to remain as mobile as possible, but it’s complicated. I take medication to relax my muscles, which makes it harder for me to stand and walk during therapy, but without the medication, my legs get too stiff to move. I try not to think about what I can’t do because of MS. I try to do the best I can and just live my life and not take things for granted. It’s just a little more challenging now.” – Sylvain
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