By Marianne Mueller
REPORTER
Multiple Sclerosis may exhibit early symptoms such as tingling, numbness in the limbs, or in more severe cases loss of vision may occur. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
MS affects the central nervous system incorporating the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Currently no cure exists for MS, however treatments are available that may help those facing this debilitating disease.
After her diagnosis Christine Gillette took action toward helping others who are living with Multiple Sclerosis by serving as the chair of the Rockford MS Walk.
In September 2001Christine Gillette started noticing symptoms that something was wrong in her body. By March of 2002 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Gillette was a student in Graduate School at Northern; trying an internship at the time.
Gillette experienced blurry vision. “When traveling I was exhausted. Just trying to do everything made me tired,” shares Gillette. “After being informed of changes in my professional life I went back to school with the support of my husband and colleagues. Gillette became a dietitian in the Rockford Health System.
“Working in the health field you focus on flu vaccines, and checkups. A combination of stress, school and working led to feeling a bit tired, vertigo, and chronic sinus problems,” said Gillette.
“I had another visit at a walk-in clinic. After seeing a different Doctor I was put on a five-day Prednisone pack to decrease inflammation from an inner ear infection. After the steroids wore off I felt fluid coming out of my ears. An internal Medicine Doctor performed various tests. He had me close my eyes and just stand. I passed the test but I was off balance. I felt like I was going around in circles.
“An MRI was ordered to rule out MS, which we have a strong family history of. When I received the call to show me the results I forced the nurse to tell me. I was told that I had Bilateral Light Lesions, which were prominent on the left optic nerve. It was a shock to me.
“You often may see clusters of families of autoimmune diseases. I use to think it skipped a generation, but in my case it didn’t. MS is so individual that
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