By Shannon C.
CERN Inspiration Story
My first symptoms were masked during pregnancy. During the birth of my first child, I felt this “pop” in my back and neck, followed by a sharp pain down my left leg. I, of course, didn’t know this was anything other than a normal pregnancy symptom. The following day, while trying to move about, I felt a drag in my left foot. I noted it to the nurses who sent a physiotherapist to my bedside. We did a few stretches and she said it was probably a trapped nerve in the hip from delivery. This seemed plausible, since I had no previous experience in delivery. The symptom remained at a very low level but never went away completely. I noticed too that I was unable produce breast milk after delivery.
Within a few months, I was pregnant again and this is when I noticed the symptoms increased. I suffered terribly with pain in my back and neck. I experienced a “swirling” pain starting at my shoulder and travelling constantly down my left arm. I struggled with balance while both standing and walking. There was a notable loss of dexterity in my fingers at work where I was expected to count cash, I could no longer do so with ease or accuracy. Everything I did seemed to cause me pure exhaustion. Again, these issues seemingly could all be explained away by pregnancy. I became concerned at a pregnancy check-up around seven months when I was unable to produce a urine sample.
I Began to Feel Something Wasn’t Right
As I neared eight months into pregnancy, I tried to get up from bed one morning and everything was like jelly. As I tried to walk, my legs were swinging in every direction except the way I had intended them to go, the pain in my back was nearly unbearable but it felt like I couldn’t feel anything from the chest down. I immediately went to my doctor.