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Thursday, June 2, 2011

How I got my reading groove back, or how I learned to accept my optic neuritis and still enjoy a good book

About a year ago, a few months after I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I encountered what looked like a sun spot or halo in my right eye. After going to my neurologist and consulting an optometrist, I learned that it was optic neuritis http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/opticneuritis.html. It thinned out with help of IV steroids but the steroids didn't help my confidence when it came to reading. I had amassed a small collection of books the month prior to my MS diagnosis and I had left them exactly where they were, on a shelf collecting dust.


It bothered me that aside from the physical limitations that I was experiencing with my legs and balance, I was  limited in my vision as well. After a few months of nothing but TV, TV and more TV, I was set to go back to the optometrist. (I'm jumping around in time a lot; this was throughout the span of about 8 months, 2-3 visits to this Dr. and inclusion of Tysabri in my treatment.) The optometrist performed field of vision tests on me to check my peripheral vision (which was previously affected) and a battery of other tests. My vision was improving. It wasn't the best in the world, but I was thankful for any improvement! So a few weeks later I went on a road trip with my wife to Ohio to visit family. Along with my standard luggage, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and bring a book or three. It's a good thing that I brought those books along; I managed to read two out of the three. I was very excited about that accomplishment. No one should ever let themselves get talked out of achieving the goals that they set out for themselves. With me, I think I was just a combination of fear and me just psyching myself out which in retrospect is probably typical of not just myself but other MSers.

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