“It affects your mental health”
One morning in 2018, Marti Hines woke up to something she never could have imagined. She discovered that the left side of her body was completely paralyzed.
A few weeks before, she had noticed tingling in her extremities, however, she hadn’t given it too much thought as she thought it was the result of a trip.
At the time, she was 35 and on vacation with the family.
“When I woke up paralyzed I felt a sharp pain and then paralysis set in and I was terrified. We didn’t know what was wrong with me. The ER doctors first I thought maybe I had a stroke, but cognitively I had no other symptoms that normally occur when someone has a stroke and so there was a lot of fear and urgency among the doctors in the emergencies, which actually played a role in my mental state because I just didn’t know what was going on and I was very afraid“, recalls Hines.
Hines did not officially learn what was going on with her until she was transferred to a larger hospital for an MRI.
“A nurse came to tell me that I was admitted to the hospital because it looked like I was showing signs of MS (multiple sclerosis),” adds Hines.
Although Hines recovered from the paralysis, he was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
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A place of denial and isolation
Hearing the words MS coming out of the nurse’s mouth confused Hines. Although she had heard of the disease, which affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, she didn’t really know what it meant.
“Like everyone these days, I went and searched the internet myself and was even more terrified of what I found while searching Google. It was just a really traumatic and scary time for me. me with so much confusion and denial because i had never been in the hospital before and i didn’t think anything was wrong with me it was really hard for me to accept that it was something that even happened to me,” the 39-year-old shares.
The diagnosis began to take a toll on Hines’ emotional and mental health.
“I just didn’t feel like I had those symptoms. I had never been seriously ill before and to find out that I now have this disease that, in the worst case scenario, I have seen so many people lose their ability to walk, their ability to see talk,” adds Hines. “It was so terrifying and also very isolating because you know multiple sclerosis wasn’t something that was widely known, at least around my friends and family and so I just didn’t