I was diagnosed in 1991 with ‘probable’ MS. This was a few years after dealing with optic neuritis, that my ophthalmologist said could be MS related, but in his experience, didn’t seem likely. I should have researched MS right then, but didn’t. If I had, I would have never gotten my second ever flu shot. The first didn’t cause me any noticeable deleterious effects, while the second, two weeks after receiving that shot, I was barely able to get out of bed, stand, or walk. Though I got better in a few days, I never got back anywhere near where I started. The second shot did clear up the residual effects of the optic neuritis.
Working with the Rocky Mountain MS Center, I was diagnosed with Progressive MS. The disease modifying drugs were just coming to market, and focused on Relapsing Remitting MS. They also had affects that that sounded worse than the disease, and I declined Avonex. As my MS progressed, it continued to chip away at my mobility. It took ten years before ending up in a wheelchair, though still able to stand on my own, that only lasted for a few months.
As the recommendations for Copaxone evolved, I became eligible, and have been taking it since 2010; MRI indicates that there have been no new lesions. That however has not halted the insidious progression of symptoms which continue slowly and surely, leaving me to wonder if there is something else I should be doing. Will it stop, slow, or speed up?
I consider myself fortunate that I’m generally pain free and my mind still functions reasonably well, though it does seem to be misplacing details, now and then. That, and knowing I’m in good company.