Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Living with Multiple Sclerosis
By:  Wendy Ray
You've probably heard about multiple sclerosis, but you may not know that it's more common in weather climates like ours, there are not as many cases of MS in cold climates. It also generally strikes white women between the ages of 20 to 40, right in the prime of life. A Cape Girardeau woman recently found out she has it and she's only 23 years old.
"I had numbness in my arm, like I was falling asleep. It lasted three days and I thought I better go to the doctor and get this checked out because I've never had a sleeping arm for three days straight," Krystal Hexamer says. Krystal was shocked to find out she has the most common type of multiple sclerosis, relapsing and remitting. Krystal's already had one relapse since she was diagnosed in June, she could barely walk. "You get numb and tingly in your hands and feet. If I walk barefoot on the cold floor it feels like I'm walking on coals. When I shower, any water hitting my leg is extremely painful," she says.
Now, Krystal's in the process of how to cope with the disease. OptionCare nurse Jackie Gartland is teaching her how to give herself injections three times a week. The injections will hopefully lengthen the time between the relapses Krystal will have for the rest of her life. "Just over the last few days I feel like I'm getting one. I think I'm getting another one. It's been about a month and a half apart. I get really tired and numb in my feet," she says. The relapses could get worse, but Krystal's not worrying about that. She's just thankful she was diagnosed with MS so she could get on the right treatment for it. "It's a challenge, but it's something I have to get around and work through," she says.
Krystal also goes to physical therapy every other week in Springfield, Illinois to work out her legs to make sure her muscles are still strong.