1. Before my NMO diagnosis: Major panic attacks at least twice a month. Sometimes these panic attacks were so uncontrollable that I would be forced to cancel an appointment (often on the way there or even in the parking lot) due to me vomiting from the attack.
After my NMO diagnosis: I’ve had two panic attacks total. I don’t know if it’s because I finally know what’s wrong with me now and I can relax or if it’s the meds I’m on, but it’s so nice to not constantly be worried about the possibility of a panic attack.
2. Before my NMO Diagnosis:
My dream was to go back to school and get my Masters in Education. I love being around kids – especially middle schoolers and teenagers and I would LOVE to be teaching history and English part time.
After my NMO Diagnosis: I’m afraid to start anything now. I’m afraid to give myself any extra stress that may throw myself into a relapse. This saddens me immensely.
3. Before my NMO Diagnosis: I’m always putting things off. Vacations, savings, decisions…. I can’t do that anymore.
After my NMO diagnosis: I am planning a trip to Disney World with my husband and kids. I’m even thinking of taking the family to Rome to celebrate midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
4. Before my NMO diagnosis: I am the queen of volunteering. Home and School (PTA) President, Destination Imagination Team Manager, Book Bowl coach, Quiz Bowl coach, member of the school steering committee, marketing committee, Catholic Identity committee, Faith Formation committee, school librarian and pretty much “if you need it done, ask Michelle…”
After my NMO diagnosis: I’ve been recommended to quit everything for a year to avoid stress and allow my body to heal. It breaks my heart. I hate to be idle and I hate to not be involved in the things that are important to me. This is so HARD for me. In fact, when I resigned my last position I was ready to bawl. It was very hard to do, but thankfully all involved were very understanding.
5. Before my NMO diagnosis: Go go go all day long. Run this errand, volunteer for this committee, run the kids here and there…
After my NMO diagnosis: Work out in the morning – I go to the gym at least 3-4 times a week. Take the dog for a walk. Take a nap. If I have energy, TRY to cook dinner.
7. Before my NMO diagnosis: no dog.
After my NMO diagnosis: DOG – what can I say? I wanted a dog!
8. Before my NMO diagnosis: I “thought” I was overweight.
After my NMO diagnosis: 30 pounds later…. thanks prednisone.
9. Before my NMO diagnosis: I took my husband and kids for granted.
After my NMO diagnosis: My husband is my savior. He knows when I am weak and takes over without complaint. He never complains about the house being messy, or me not having the energy to take a shower or to cook dinner. NEVER. My children help me as well. I can never take them for granted again. I am so fortunate to have them in my life.
10. Before my NMO diagnosis: I took my health for granted.
After my NMO diagnosis: I thank God everyday for the blessings I have. I know I am sick, but I am so thankful for the little blessings that are given to me every day. Even though I’m sick, I know that I am loved and I can feel that love through the prayers offered up for me every day. I feel my faith in God has been resucitated and I know that despite all of my fears of the unknown that if I rely on Him, I’ll be okay.