Family 411: Living with MS

It helps to have a village to deal with a MS diagnosis (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that may not be familiar to many people but a diagnosis impacts the whole family.

"For me, I was living life just as everyone does, enjoying every given second." Sometimes life takes you in a direction you've never dreamed.

"I had lost vision in my right eye." For Michele Bowers, it was her health that threw a curve ball.

She went to see a neurologist after being diagnosed with optic neuritis. "I had no clue that it was to have an MRI and be evaluated for MS."

She got a multiple sclerosis diagnosis at age 40. "I was in complete and utter denial"

Most people with MS are diagnosed in their 20's to 30's with optic neuritis and numbness in the legs being common symptoms. "Multiple sclerosis is is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the holiest of holies the brain and the superhighway the spinal cord that takes all that information up and down."

Neuroimmunologist Dr. Aaron Boster says if not treated early and aggressively, your quality of life takes a big hit. "The natural history of MS neurological disability that accrues over year, often times culminating in cane, walker, wheelchair."

Her holistic approach to treatment at home wasn't working. "The final straw was literally calling Dr. Boster and saying Dr. Boster my leg is working."

"If we see certain patterns on the MRI, we can diagnose you before your second attack". The quicker the diagnosis the faster you can begin medication.

Dr. Boster says coming to terms with a diagnosis and treatment is a process that involves your family for understanding and support. "You don't get to have MS by yourself, you have MS with your village right and I want you to have as big a village as possible."

"Here I am today and I feel as if I did pre-MS." By stepping into the spotlight, Michele hopes others will find strength to fight just as hard against MS.

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