Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Long Story

Where to start?

Those of you who know me from high school may remember that I was often sick. That was Crohn's Disease, which I've had since I was 9, and culminated in me requiring part of my intestine removed in the early spring of 93. After that, the disease went into remission, and I spend most of my early 20s in great health.

I moved to Huntsville, staying the summer, taking classes and getting a job instead of going home, which made me officially an Alabama resident. Damn it was nice how much tuition at UAH dropped.

By January of 1996 I had an Alabama EMT license as a result of one of my electives. So I joined the Huntsville Madison Rescue Squad and volunteered with them for a decade. I was on the Board of Directors for 2 terms and got to play with the big boys when I helped plan the Huntsville International Airports' Disaster Response Plan (a full scale drill of a crash landing, which is required by the FAA every 10 years for every airport).

During that time my back started to ache and get worse over the years. I also had a minor flare of the Crohn's, so I had all sorts of tests, and that's when it was discovered I had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). The links will take you to the Wikipedia article for each, right click and open a new tab if to keep this one open.

The good thing is the treatment for Crohn's, the medications, also treat RA and AS.

During this time I met my EvilTimmy (hey, that's what my hubby calls himself online), and we got married 3 times and never divorced. First, we were married by Common Law (Alabama is one of the few Common Law states left) when I told Huntsville Hospital he was my husband, not my boyfriend or fiancee. The moment we presented ourselves as married, we were under Alabama law, which was in 1997.

EvilTimmy is an Engineer and I graduated with an Art Degree, specializing in Graphic Design. I was hired by a military contractor to work on the Redstone Arsenal, and hubby was hired by a different contractor. We both needed at least Secret level security clearances. So we went to the Courthouse, since while the government recognizes Common Law marriages, the Department of Defense does not. Marriage number 2.

One year later, to the day it turns out, we were able to get a venue for the wedding ceremony for our families, since most didn't know about marriages number 1 or 2. It turns out our anniversary is November 17 of 1997, 2000, or 2001 depending on who we're talking to. We've been married 10 to 13 years. No children since we decided early we didn't want any and it would be detrimental to my health to carry a fetus.

Then, one day in April of 2004, while I was at work, I had a horrible dizzy spell. I left work early, got home by luck and muscle memory so I didn't end up in a ditch. That was the first major symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. While going through testing, I realized I'd been having minor symptoms for months.

Yay, even more meds. One med does start helping, I'm not having as many falls (my neurologist says I have to use a cane outside the house, and I mostly do), and my coordination isn't getting worse, at least.

But then comes the down side. It makes triggered an episode of paranoia and anxiety directed toward the computer. Not anyone on the computer, but the machine in general. I wouldn't fire up Photoshop, or get on the internet just to check the weather.

That's the last 15 years of my life, in a very large nutshell. Please don't take any offense if I don't respond to any comments, I may be having a bad day as far as the computer goes. Comment here or on Facebook, whichever you prefer. I only ask that here I'm Mira, regardless of what my Facebook name is.

Whew. That was a lot

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