Yesterday, I was having a chat with someone I’d never met before.
For various reasons, MS popped in to the conversation, as it does. We discussed how it had affected my life, what had changed.
Towards the end I said, ‘you know what, in some ways, I am blessed.’ Weird word to use. I’ve thought about this before, but yesterday it really crystalised for me. She seemed perplexed.
I tried to explain that a lot of people are well into their 50’s/60’s or even 70’s before a major health crisis appears. To have had this happen in my 30’s and to get the chance to totally reevaluate my life from every perspective is a gift. MS brought me up short and made me realise just how fleeting and wondrous life can be. I would be most miffed for this to happen at, say 65, and think to myself, ‘all those regrets, all those wasted opportunities.’
Mind you, I haven’t always felt this way, as regular readers will be well aware. The sheer unfairness of it all. The grieving process, the fears, the endless panic. It didn’t help that in my case the MS onslaught was so dramatically sudden – I went to bed one evening and woke up the next morning unable to speak or walk properly. Life had shifted irretrievably on it’s axis.
MS cleared the decks. The uncommitted boyfriend swiftly left the building (see ya! No, I didn’t want to marry you either), old family politics diminished in their insignificance and most of my fair-weather friends disappeared in a cloud of, ‘honestly, if you need anything‘, whilst stepping/running backwards from the room.
I started to ask what my life was all about. What did it mean? What could I do that would be fulfilling? For me and The Teenager. Which is why I spent my tribunal payout on a trip to New York, the least I could do after all the Teenager had coped with. MS is the reason I’ve enrolled on an MA. And, dear reader, it’s the reason I am in touch with a, ahem, personal trainer, to try to instill some body confidence after it’s been battered with steroids, meds and far too much comfort food.
I still have fears. I’m still reminded every single day that MS is ever-present. But I think now I am living the life I was meant to live. I’m just hoping the trainer goes easy on me and at least allows me to congratulate myself with a donut for picking up the kettle bell, which has been my trusty doorstop for the last two years. We’ll see.