“I knew something was off, so I drove myself to the ER…” – by Erica Rios Flores

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It was November of 2019. I was under a lot of stress, as my job was relocating out of state and I was getting laid off. Four days before I admitted myself into the hospital, I had an unusual pain while going to the washroom. After that pain, each day my foot kept falling asleep, on and off until it eventually stayed asleep. I felt numbness on my right side of my body from my legs down, then suddenly my right side of my face felt like I was having a stroke. I knew something was off so, I drove myself to the ER. I remember telling the doctor all my symptoms and she then spoke to a neurologist. He said he wanted to keep me overnight to run some test because it appeared I had symptoms of MS. Me, being stubborn, told her to remove my IV and that I didn’t have MS. I called my husband immediately and he told me “are you crazy,  stay there! I am on my way”. So yes, I stayed. Over the next few days my symptoms got worse as I was in the hospital. I was scheduled for an MRI and a spinal tap. I had both tests done and was diagnosed three days later while staying in the hospital for a total of six days. Had a relapse. I remember the news like it was yesterday. The neurologist didn’t even give me the news, it was now my PCP.  I remember feeling numb to the news. I have RRMS. Prior to my diagnosis I had 2 to 3 visits to the ER because I felt like I was having a heart attack, but my test results always came back fine. Come to find out it was the MS Hug symptom. 

What has happened since being diagnosed. MS has changed my life physically because I’m very fatigued and no longer working. I went back to work two months after being diagnosed. Mentally I needed to go back, but physically I couldn’t. I usually have head pain, get tired fast, memory loss, along with other symptoms. With that, I walk 3 miles most days, cook, do house chores, garden, read, attend church, and spend time with my family! My faith in God is big, it was there before MS so I continue to lean on that. 

My advice for someone newly diagnosed is know you are not alone.


Things I do to manage My MS

My recommendations:

I would recommend reading these books! It’s Not Supposed to Be this Way by Lisa Terkeurst and Resilience in the face of Multiple Sclerosis by Brandon Beaber. 

My diet:

After doing research I saw that the vegan diet was the best option for MS. I was vegan for a year, however, I live in the country, so every time we went out there wasn’t many options for me. Also, I’m Mexican, so food has always been part of our culture & I truly missed those foods. I still try to follow the vegan diet as much as I can, but I do have dairy and meat from time to time.

Erica Flores

Instagram:
@erica_rios_flores