Sarah introduces herself and discusses the warning signs she sensed before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
My name is Sarah Keitt. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in April 2000, and since then I have become an advocate for patients with MS.
I knew something was wrong when I had trouble walking home from work, a mile and a half, two-mile walk I normally did easily. I all of a sudden found myself having to stop and rest two or three times to get home, and I was having trouble walking upstairs. My legs felt very weak and I was having trouble breathing.
And initially, my doctors chalked it up to anemia or fatigue. And then when those were not the problems, there was a whole battery of other tests and strange diagnoses thrown out, and finally I was told it was all in my head, and “You are probably just depressed and over-worked.”
About six months after that, I woke up one day and I couldn’t feel my right leg. It was numb from the thigh down, and again, the doctor just sort of shrugged his shoulders and then said, “Well, maybe you pinched a nerve.” And then the next day my other leg was numb, and obviously, it wasn’t a pinched nerve. And I went to see a neurologist, and he said it was probably MS but he wanted to do some tests, and while we were waiting for those tests to come back, I lost the vision in my left eye. And so within a week from seeing the neurologist to when I lost my vision in my eye, they were able to confirm the diagnosis of MS.
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