The Un-Signposted Road

signIn the three years and two days since I was diagnosed with MS, I’ve been waiting for A Sign.

Something huge, massive, with the words ‘Congratulations! You’ve made it through! Life Can Now Return to Normal!’

I thought, ok, if I go through the five seven twelve stages of grief and adapting to MS, I would pop out the other end ready to pick up the threads of my old life. I would brush myself down and carry on regardless.

Only three problems with that: my old life no longer exists, MS is a bit bigger than I gave it credit for and there won’t be a sign. Β I’ve come to realise that there simply isn’t an end point, it’s a continuous process, so I might as well just get on with it (note to self). Quite possibly I’m stating the obvious and am a bit late to the game.

Looking back, I think I was a little guileless about the whole thing. I used to think A Sign could be:

  • When I would no longer spend an evening bemoaning my fate and crying into my wine, Morrissey playing on a loop in the background.
  • When I didn’t reach for the MS Nurse Relapse Hotline every time a tiny new symptom appeared.
  • Ditto, I wouldn’t endlessly google every tiny new symptom which would bring up a list with not just MS but every other horrifying illness on the planet and subsequently I would go to bed crying (see first point).
  • When I wouldn’t quake with fear when meeting with my neurologist as I would be semi-fluent in long MS medical words.

Nope. Well, of course they all count towards some kind of acceptance of my weird and wonderful new life with MS, but it’s not the whole picture. MS has a funny way of tripping me up, literally.

Take the other day. I woke up, put the kitten out, put the kettle on and fell against the cooker. Gah. Later that day, I stumbled and whacked my arm badly. I had stranger than normal tingling in my left leg. My hand hovered over the MS Nurse Relapse Hotline leaflet. But, no, I put some Morrissey on, poured a glass of wine and settled down in front of Google instead.

I have therefore decided to count my blessings and enjoy my new life. The Teenager is thriving, my studies are going well, I love my job and, despite the occasional set-back, life is looking not-too-bad. Although I do wonder if my neurologist will have some pesky new MS words to slip into conversation the next time I see him, the meanie.

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10 thoughts on “The Un-Signposted Road

  1. oh gods Morrissey, I think I would try to drink wine just so I would pass out and not have to listen to the self righteous idiot :p

    nope, no ending signs with MS :/ but hubby thinks I should get a sign that says Bump like the elephant for a hoodie/necklace :p

  2. Jonny says:

    I like to listen to CROWDED HOUSE’s song loop “D’ont believe its over” on a loop, or is it “Hey Now” ?……….. As for Morrissey I haven’t listened to him (since the Smiths & I really liked Johnny (Marr?)’s guitar licks……

    This Charming Man


  3. Jane PArkes says:

    It’s very nearly 22 years since I was diagnosed with MS at the age of 27. I can’t believe I’ve had it for almost half of my life! I can honestly say the first three years were the darkest and scariest, when every twinge and pain sent me into a panic. Back then I had a wonderful neurologist (since retired) who would calm me and reassure me and now I have a great MS nurse who does the same. I was really unwell when I was first diagnosed and had a dreadful time with my employer. So I was was forced to re-evaluate my life and had to give up work. Then I met my husband and got married at 30, and had two children, the oldest of whom is about to go to university.
    I still get new and strange symptoms but apply a three day rule before seeking help by which time, quite often, the symptoms will have subsided. I don’t think anymore about what life would have been like if this hadn’t happened. Yes it would have been different, but would it have been better for me, my husband or my children? I think we all have different values now.

    I have only just discovered your blog, and am enjoying it. Nothing like it was available twenty two years ago when I was desperately in need of talking to a fellow MS-er with a positive attitude! So thanks

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!
      It’s strange how we eventually get used to MS. I almost feel like I can’t remember a life without it even though it’s only been three (very long) years. No point wondering how life could have been, like you said.
      And thank you for finding my blog πŸ™‚

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