A Test of Faith

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 1995

I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My battle with MS has not be fun since day one. I have had to fight for a diagnosis from my doctors and specialists who were supposed to know about MS, but knew little. You have to realize that even though an individual calls himself or herself a professional healer s/he doesn't know everything. In some cases, like MS, doctors know that it is out there, but little else.

In the year it took to do all the tests to rule out other diseases, my doctors continually jumped to the conclusion that I was psychosomatic (having physical symptoms stemming from mental illness) instead of MS. This was mainly because my MRI (brain scan) didn't show white tracks which were are the scared nerves in the brain. The doctors even had my husband believing they were right. It was only through God that I had as an anchor in this storm.

I knew with total certainty, that I had MS, even though my doctors had already ruled it out. I knew because I studied it out in my mind, then asked God if it was true. My problem was that I couldn't get my doctors to believe me, so I started to pray for them. It was not long after that when I got my answer.

I was in my neighborhood grocery store when a general practitioner, I knew from my ward, came across the store, to ask me how my testing was doing. This doesn't seem unusual, but it was. This particular doctor is extremely shy and generally keeps to himself. For him to rush across the store to talk to me was unheard of. Yet he did so under the prompting of the Spirit, to give me the information I needed to get help.

I told him that my doctors couldn't seem to figure what was wrong with me. He said that given my symptoms, he still felt it was MS. I told him that I thought so too, but my doctors had ruled that out. He said that an MRI was not the only way to know if you had MS. The only sure way was to have a spinal tap to see if the protein count was high.

A few days later had an appointment with my neurologist to plan what we would try next. He became ugly with me because he felt that I was just some nut case needing a Psychiatrist. I stated that I still felt that I had MS. He said that they had tested for MS. I said that he had not tried all the tests for MS because we had not done a spinal tap. He blew up and yelled, "If I wanted a spinal tap then he would see that I got one!"

The spinal tap was not fun, but it showed high levels of protein in the spinal fluid. The count over double what was normal. A few days after that I had my first major exacerbation or flare-up. All the problems I had been having with my nervous system all happened at once and stayed. I ended up in the hospital. During my that time, my doctors gave me a test that showed how fast the brain registered changing patterns. My right eye was registering on the edge of tolerance. My right side of my body was where I was having troubles. Finally, my doctors decided since there were no visible white brain tracks, but elevated protein in the spinal fluid and a definite slowed response of the brain showing brain damage, that there was a good chance I had MS.

MS is hard to detect. A conclusive diagnosis must have two factors.

  1. Evidence of central nervous system scarring or white patches via an MRI.
  2. There must have been at least two separate exacerbations or relapses of the disease.
  3. I have both of these now, but it has taken five years to get a definite diagnosis because the damage had to be extensive enough to show up on the MRI, and damage is done over time.

My diagnosis came as a direct result of prayer. Thank God the doctor in my ward listened to the prompting of the Spirit and hooray that God listens and answers prayers or I would be down in the psychiatric ward right now.

Through Priesthood health blessings, personal prayer, and prayers from friends and loved ones, I am able to cope with the problems MS brings me. Sometimes it is not easy, but it is doable. Without the Lord's constant care, it wouldn't be. I'm grateful that I know God lives and hears our prayers.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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