If you have MS, you probably remember very well the day you were diagnosed. This is my story.
I called my primary care physician’s office on Wednesday to find out if they’d received the results from the MRI that I had done on Monday. The receptionist told me in her cheery voice: “No news is good news!”
By Friday, I was ready for the weekend and couldn’t wait to finish work and get home. I had plans with my husband at the time to go to a Social Distortion concert — a rare night out alone without our baby.
After I finished getting myself all ready for my evening plans, the phone rang. Standing in my kitchen with my 9-month-old son Jake on my left hip, I answered. It was my doctor. Why was he calling so late? Without hesitation he asked, “Are you sitting down?”
“Should I be?” I responded. There was a long pause. I didn’t sit. “Tricia, you have multiple sclerosis. I will put in a referral for you to see a neurologist.”
I honestly don’t remember anything else from the conversation, including what I said in response to him…perhaps a shocked “Thank you” before I hung up the phone.
I had no idea what multiple sclerosis was, how to spell it, what it was going to do to me, and most importantly, what it meant for my future. I held Jake in my arms and just stood there.
It was 1994. I was 23 years old.
Birthdate: Nov 16, 1970
Schooling background: Poway High School
Hometown: Poway, CA
Currently live: San Diego, CA
Career path: Marketing at Aetna Health Plans, went on disability due to Multiple Sclerosis in 1997
Favorite meal: Sushi
Favorite place to ride: Along the coast in San Diego
Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite quote: “Never, Never, Never Give Up” – Winston Churchill
Beach or mountains? Beach
Coffee or tea? Both
Newspaper or magazine? Magazine
Road or dirt for biking? Road
What is the one thing you cant ride without? Besides my helmet? Gatorade!
Riding the Optibike makes me feel free! It actually makes me forget I am sick. I’m not able to ride a ‘normal’ bike, unless it’s a recumbent bike at the gym – my legs get too fatigued and eventually go numb. With the power of the Optibike, I was able to pedal without the pins and needles. It is an amazing experience!