Sunday, May 04, 2008


Tomorrow, May 5th, is my (Nicole's) 28th birthday. I can't believe I'm closer to 30 than 25. I feel very old, especially when I think that when I turn 30 I'll have a six year old and a four year old! Where did the time go?

Tomorrow is also the day that I'll be going in for my second MRI to confirm a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

I wasn't going to post about this until we had heard back from the neurologist after this MRI, but it seems as if everyone knows already, and I figure more prayers couldn't hurt. I've been having trouble with my memory and cognitive functions, and in April my primary care physician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist ordered an MRI of my brain, which I had last week, and it revealed eight lesions on my brain.

The eight lesions alone to not confirm MS--elderly people, people with a long history of migraines, diabetics--you would not be surprised to see lesions on the brains of these people. Unfortunately, I am not elderly, I do not have migraines, I am not diabetic, and while the neurologist said she might be able to dismiss two or three lesions, she cannot dismiss eight.

So tomorrow I'll be going in for an MRI of my spine, to see if the same lesions are there as well. If there are lesions, the neurologist will probably make a firm diagnosis of MS. If there are no lesions, the lesions on my brain are enough to warrant follow-up. Definitely an MRI in six months to check for changes, and possibly a spinal tap now, to look for other clues.

MS is not a death sentence, and while there is no cure, the symptoms can be managed with good medical care. I am blessed to be here in the Raleigh area with such excellent facilities and physicians. Not only that, my husband has a job close to home (he can be home in 15 minutes, tops!), and a flexible one at that. If this had happened while we were still in DC, it would have been difficult to coordinate with the traffic and our location.

In some ways, I'm not surprised--as early as last August I was having trouble cognitively--my speech was awkward, I was stumbling with my words, and I kept forgetting things--not good when you're trying to manage the books of the top mediator in the nation, along with his wife's respected college counseling practice and non-profit organization! I think even then my work was slipping, and when I started my new job here in NC it was even more obvious to me. 50% of people with MS end up leaving the workforce due to cognitive dysfunction 15-20 years after diagnosis.

I think my biggest fear right now is my mental health--I want to be alert and functional. I want to be able to think quickly and solve problems, as I always have.

But through all this, I am profoundly grateful for the saving work of Christ in my life. He is indeed my refuge and strength, and I'm getting a lot of comfort from that right now. The sovereignty of God is amazing, and I will be posting later on this week about the providence of God.

So for now, please pray, and I will update when I hear from the doctor.


Amy said...

Ben and I are both praying for you and your family.

Mrs. Huse Clifton said...

Sorry to hear about the MS trouble I will to be praying for you.