Fox News' Janice Dean: Multiple Sclerosis Made Me Proud To Be A Size 10
9 months ago, 17 Jan 18:48
Janice Dean is the senior meteorologist at Fox News Channel. I had my first multiple sclerosis (MS) episode in 2005. I remember it well. We had just come off the most active hurricane season in history. It was the year of hurricanes: Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. I was working long hours and was feeling overwhelmingly tired, stressed, and depressed from all the devastation we were seeing on television. Little did I know my body was dealing with its own neurological storm, one that had been forming for years. I decided to take some time off and get some rest. The first day of my vacation, I woke up to numbness in my feet and parts of my legs. I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed. I had no idea what was wrong. The first doctor I went to was blunt and honest. “This could be anything from a slipped disc to multiple sclerosis. You need to see a neurologist,” he said. "MS? Isn’t that the wheelchair disease?" I thought. So I did as I was told and got in to see a neurologist who gave me MRIs and a most unpleasant spinal tap. The result: I had lesions on both my brain and spine. The spinal tap fluid had also shown the protein they look for in MS patients. The doctor gave me steroids to help with the numbness and tingling and told me I more than likely had multiple sclerosis: an unpredictable, chronic, incurable, and possibly disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. At that moment I thought my life was over. My career would be finished. The man that I was dating would probably leave me. How would I support myself? (Get the latest health, weight loss, fitness, and sex intel delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our "Daily Dose" newsletter.) I began researching and reading as much as I could on MS while trying to remain optimistic. I was able to find a wonderful, kind MS doctor, and his nurse Jennifer was an angel in a white coat. She would calm my fears while holding my hand—sharing stories of perseverance and how one day we would find a cure for this illness. Jen was a bright light in a diagnosis that seemed so dark. During that time, I also found people to talk to who were living with MS, and who were not just functioning, but thriving. In the 13 years since my first MS episode, I’ve tried not to stress about things that used to bother me throughout my life. Weight and body-image issues are something I have had since a very young age. I was teased about my “curvy” figure in my teenage years and throughout my career on television. But since my diagnosis, I've tried to remind myself to be appreciative of the body that has supported me for 47 years. It ...
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