31 Days of MS: It All Started With Blurry Vision

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31 Days of MS

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Photo courtesy of Carter Stough Lowe

Day 28 of 31

This is Carter Stough Lowe’s story:

I first noticed extreme blurriness in my right eye when I was home for my grandfather’s funeral and informed my mother of my vision problems. She sent me to her eye doctor, and they did some testing. Thinking it might be optic neuritis, the doctor sent me to have a CAT scan. I got sent to a specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Neither of the two doctors I saw at Vanderbilt could diagnose me; I got a half answer of “it may be optic neuritis.” 

After a few weeks, I was in New York City for a long weekend over St. Patrick’s Day with three of my friends. I flew in and took a cab into the city. I ended up having to walk nine to 10 long blocks to my friend’s hotel. As I was walking, my legs started to feel like jelly so I gripped my roller suitcase handle for balance. I finally got to their hotel, and after resting, we went back out. My legs had the feeling of jelly, and I held on to my partner for balance.

Later on, after not being able to stand long enough for the seamstress to hem my wedding dress, my bridesmaids made me go to the urgent care center whose doctors couldn’t figure out why my legs had more or less given out. They suggested going to New York University (NYU) Hospital. 

My bridesmaids took me to the ER at NYU. The staff admitted me and started running multiple tests. Finally, I was taken to a room at 1 am. My father flew to see me the following day. I had an MRI and spinal tap.

While I was there for five days, my primary doctor went over all the results and was pretty confident that I had MS. I already had an existing doctor’s appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Cohen at The Cleveland Clinic, who is at the forefront of MS medications research and development.

My father and I flew to Cleveland after I was allowed to leave NYU. Dr. Cohen had the nurses do cognitive and walking/balance tests. He went over those results and the results from the tests at NYU and concluded that I have MS in March 2017. I started on Tysabri and then qualified for Ocrevus. It’s been a rollercoaster ever since.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or go here to see the full series.

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