I'M NOT CRAZY(I'M JUST A TAD DITZY) : An Odyssey to Diagnosis of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

I never set out to write a book.

Initially, writing was my awkward attempt at telling those I love how I was personally, emotionally, physiologically, cognitively, and socially affected by relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). My MS journey began nearly fifteen years before diagnosis. Following the flu many years prior, I dealt intermittently with a multitude of symptoms including seizures, visual obscurities, cognitive challenges, choking issues, loss of balance, muscle spasms, and a myriad of other symptoms. Specialists scratched their heads unable to identify the cause.

My experience of a long, drawn-out diagnosis is common among those with this perplexing and often ambiguous disease. Eventually, neurological tests and an MRI revealed “lesions… demyelination… multiple sclerosis.” Finally, “it” had a name. Surprisingly, not knowing what was going on all those years was far more exasperating than hearing the actual diagnosis. At least now, I had an answer.

Learning all I could about RRMS empowered me to deal more effectively with its unpredictable and haphazard symptoms. I concluded that if I found it challenging to deal with issues ignited by MS, then others must too. If my experiences could help others navigate their way more smoothly through the complex maze of MS, I felt compelled to share them. As my fingers began flying across the keyboard in an effort to write my story, I discovered how difficult it was to be truly open about my journey and the countless symptoms I'd habitually covered for so long. I needed to share it if for no one else's sake but my own. My struggles were showing, and it was becoming more difficult to hide them than it was to live with them openly.

I knew the jig was up. Hiding was no longer an option. That's when the writing of this book began.

--Jeanne Phaneuf Champagne



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