A Warning shot against MS
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
4/17/12 at 2:41 AM
Allison Warning wakes up every morning not knowing what to expect.
Warning, 67, has multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system - the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord.
The disease is unpredictable and can cause everything from blurred vision and slurred speech to extreme fatigue and paralysis, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"Anything that your brain tells you to do, MS can affect," Warning said.
Warning was diagnosed with MS in 1985. At that time, doctors told her there was nothing they could do. Because she has a form of MS characterized by flare-ups that are followed by periods of recovery - called remitting-relapsing MS, Warning eventually got better on her own.
"But the point was, there was nothing in 1985 for me," she said.
Then, in 1999, Warning had a major episode. She lost the vision in the right quadrant of both her eyes.
"I only saw pieces of things," she said.
She couldn't drive because she'd only see parts of cars. She lost her insurance business because she could no longer read and work on contracts. She'd try to put groceries down and would miss the table.
"I was so frustrated because I just couldn't do the things that I used to do," Warning said. "It was the first time in my life that I felt like I might not be able to take care of myself."
But things had changed since her first diagnosis. This time, medicines were available to help slow the disease's progression.
Warning said the fast pace of research is encouraging and exciting. She has not had another major episode since 1999 and currently injects herself with a shot daily as treatment.
"That's not to say that there aren't things wrong with me," Warning said. "Sometimes I can't tell with one of my feet whether the water is hot or cold. I get very, very tired. It takes a lot of energy for me to walk, to talk, to write."
But throughout the whole experience, Warning says the MS Society has been her most important resource.
Warning began volunteering for the society about six years ago and is on the Walk MS committee. The walk is an annual fundraiser for the group, and money raised goes toward research and programs.
This year's walk is set for Saturday at Veterans Park, 1875 S. Boulder Drive. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 9 a.m. An MS Expo will be part of the event, featuring local vendors such as pharmaceutical and mobility companies. Activities for kids will be available and a Battle of the Bands will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Registration is free, but donations are encouraged.
Visit tulsaworld.com/walkMS to donate or register.
Where: Veterans Park, 1875 S. Boulder Drive
When: Saturday. Registration at 7:30 a.m., walk at 9 a.m., Battle of the Bands at 10 a.m.
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Allison Warning, who has multiple sclerosis, is also a volunteer for the upcoming Walk MS, which benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World