Having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as a junior in high school 13 years ago, I’ve been on many medications for not only treatment of the neurological disease itself, but also for the life-altering symptoms and afflictions characteristic of MS.

I’ve been often told that MS won’t kill me, but the side effects of medicine and the complications of symptoms will. Most recently, I began suffering from crippling pain, blurry vision, extreme fatigue, and what’s affectionately called, “cog fog.”

In other words, I can’t move, see, stay awake, or think clearly without exerting extra effort, thus making me more tired and stressed out, and making my other symptoms flare. It’s a vicious circle.

I can deal with the side effects of my MS medication. I tolerate them very well. What I can’t handle is the zombie state that the prescribed painkillers cause. The nausea would be fine, if it weren’t paired with vertigo when I take the muscle relaxers.

The nerve blocker helps with the ice picks in the temple and behind the eyeball, but it leaves me with paranoid thoughts, insomnia, loss of appetite and extreme agitation.

Now, my neurologist says that CBD oil could help me. But since I couldn’t get into the study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, I’ll never know.

Even the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (for whom I also volunteer and am active in) isn’t discounting the claims and research.

What am I supposed to do? If I take the medications, I’ll get some relief – some — not complete, but some. But if I take the medications, I can’t work. The side effects are too much for me.

I refuse to go on disability because I want to work. I’m good at my job. I love my job. I adore my boss, my coworkers, and the people I serve.

I’m happily married and have an amazing family and network of friends who fight my fight with me.

So, I can give up all of that and take the meds that make me sicker, or I can risk doing something illegal and finding myself a dose of CBD oil.

If all else fails, I could always move away from Nebraska’s Good Life and possibly find the relief I need to keep me working and living a life worth living.

Kristina McGovern, Omaha.