My name is Kori. I am 39-years-old, from Indiana, and living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Before you even get that thought out: “I’m so sorry to hear that.” STOP! Multiple Sclerosis has been my blessing.
It sounds crazy to say that about a condition that has no cure and brings so much pain and turbulence into people’s lives, but I would not be the woman I am today if God had not given me this journey. I have learned so much about myself mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
Mentally, I initially thought I was strong and handled my issues well, but I learned to accept therapy to help me deal with all the changes in my life.
Physically, I had to come to terms that I couldn't do all the same activities that I was used to; so I became creative and learned new activities. I also gained an appreciation for the things that I still could do.
Spiritually, the one thing that I had do hold on to is faith. It has made the ride smoother.
Emotionally, I lost people in my life that couldn't handle the issues in which I was dealing. I took it personally, and I learned who had my back and who I needed to let go.
Financially, it took me 28 months to get approved for disability. Thank God for parents and family who gave selflessly so that I didn't have to hit rock bottom. I am now so much better with managing money.
While there are medications and therapies to slow the progression of the disease, the cure is still a work in progress. Currently, I take 20 pills a day and a Tysabri infusion once a month to keep my symptoms under control.
It was then, in 2008, that I started to notice numbness and heaviness in my feet. I was on my feet 12 hours a day; so, I blew it off.
MS is a crazy disease. It causes the immune system to eat the protective covering of the nerves, causing a disruption in the communication between the brain and the body. This causes a variety of issues including pain, impaired coordination, vision loss, mobility issues, and fatigue. However, each person’s experience with the disease is very different.
I was 25 and working as a surgical technologist at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis when MS made its visit to me. It was then, in 2008, that I started to notice numbness and heaviness in my feet. I was on my feet 12 hours a day; so, I blew it off.
Over the next few weeks, that same feeling started to move up my legs. I saw my primary care doctor, who referred me to a neurologist. While waiting for that appointment, two things happened. First, that numb, heavy feeling moved up to my belly button and I could no longer feel when I had to go to the restroom. I started going to the restroom on a schedule, which brings me to the second thing that happened. One night, my alarm went off in the middle of night to alert me that it was time to use the restroom, but I could not move.