MS was an ugly intruder, returning again and again, chipping away at everything I once held as true.
It took my health, of course. But it took more than that. It spirited away my social life (who wants a friend who trips over when sober? And cries down the phone?). It stole my son’s transition into teenagerhood – it was marred by worry and fear. It stole my career.
In essence, it took my future. And it tried to take the very core of me, my spirit.
Well, MS, be damned. You can get away with the trembling, the nerve pain, the stumbling. But I will still barricade the gates so you won’t destroy me entirely.
Before anyone takes offence at the title to this post, MS took my father. Way back, before treatment, drugs, MRI’s, 1978. I was 4.
I live in a different era and I believe that MS is what YOU make of it.
I’ve been to hell and back and have still not fully recovered. I live in fear of the treatment not working and I’ve already had a relapse, plus complications (I admit, the over-active thyroid has short-term delights, such as my miraculous weight loss, but it won’t last and the Wotsits are already calling…). My hands don’t work properly and the foot drop is verging on the comical, which my bruises bear witness to. I am covered in them.
MS is horrendous. It sneaks up and unleashes a bewildering array of symptoms on us. But if you can come to terms with the fact that Life Will Never Be The Same, you’re already halfway there (honestly).
Your families may ignore you and you will probably lose friends. You may also lose your job, as I did (don’t forget, I won the legal case). But. For all that, you will transition into a whole new way of living. You will adapt and you will overcome, to coin a tired phrase. Some of you are happy to say that you have MS, MS doesn’t have you. Well, it does. But! The way you receive and react to that news is the key to living a brighter future. .
We cannot deny it’s a nasty existence. It is right here, right now and it always will be. So we adjust to new ways of living, despite this foul illness.
We can do this, right?