Hey, MS, Happy 6 Month Anniversary! After a year of hell, I was officially diagnosed on 25th May. I don’t need to tell most of you how horrendous the diagnostic process can be, suffice to say I am overjoyed never, ever to have to go through a lumbar puncture again. Have you seen those needles?
Having MS sweep into your life is like having an ugly, unwanted house-guest move in with two huge suitcases and the kitchen sink. For ever. No matter how much you try to get on with life, work around them and keep ignoring them in the hope they will go away, they stick around.
Not content with that, they inflict pain on you mercilessly in unexpected ways, physically, mentally and emotionally. They rack up extra costs, they stop you going out as much as before and they chuck out your high heels (that was a cheap, low shot, MS). They rob you of your health, your confidence and your zest. They frighten your family and taunt you about your diminishing prospects.
If MS were a person, they’d be arrested and banged up for life.
So how do I feel, six months on? The absolute permanence of MS horrifies me. It will never go away. The progression of it, too, is something I tuck away in the furthest reaches of my mind, only to be thought about in very dark moments. I hate the constant fear, the gnawing anxiety of a relapse just around the corner. I hate the way MS has shaken my life so completely to its foundations that nothing is the same as before.
I know, I need to embrace this illness. I should accept that MS is now indelibly imprinted on my life. I need to Think Positive! Meditate, do yoga, give up the sweets, the alcohol, the stress. Don’t we all? If pushed, I would say that the one thing MS has given me is the ability to appreciate things more. Not in a hippy-dippy, mung-bean eating way – just enjoying small pockets of time when everything is ok, I don’t take so much for granted now.
I am still debating whether to get a tattoo, to mark this little anniversary. Something small, just between me and MS. I want a barcode, with the words, Best Before 25/05/12. Or should that be Best After…?