Not So Happy 10th Anniversary
Last week an anniversary came and went without much fan fare, sure it was on my mind but I didn't recognize it or mention it even though it was the anniversary of a life changing day, it doesn't deserve to be acknowledged or celebrated.
Ten years ago last week was my official diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Sure it rocked my world at the time, and continued to do so for years to come. In fact it still rears it's ugly head, it does dictate my life to a certain extent, but for the most part I manage it, I live with it and a lot of days I kick it's ass.
Ten years ago it was a different story, it kicked my ass hard for a few years until I decided enough was enough. I finally decided that doctors don't always know best and I took the time to really educate myself and become my own advocate. I had enough of being pumped full of hardcore drugs and knew I needed to find a new neurologist (who, sadly, are few and far between, especially for treating MS.) I had had my fair share of prescription writers and sat on a waiting list for 4 years for a new doctor. I had almost given up hope until I got the call I had been waiting for in 2013. So yeah i'm lucky in that sense, I have an amazing woman neurologist, she treats your symptoms instead of the disease, she's open to me trying to do things my way, because after 10 years, I know my body, I know my limitations and I certainly know when my MS is rearing it's ugly head. But she also knows when to make me stop and listen to her options because at the end of the day, MS is a progressive disease, the key is to slow it down and keep it moving as slow as possible or even better, keep it in some sort of "remission".
Being diagnosed with any life changing illness or disease is horrible and I hope those of you reading this post never have to go through it, but if you do, remember this....keep your head up, keep a positive attitude. I always try to remember that things could always be worse, even though it doesn't seem like it at the time. Make sure you have a great support system because trust me, you find out just who your true friends are when you get sick, and they are fewer than you think! My husband and a handful of girlfriends have been my rocks through this journey and I would never have made it without them.
MS robbed me of a lot (my job of 22 years that I loved, strength in my right arm, feeling in my finger tips just to name a few) but it has also given me a new outlook on life. It gave me 10 years at home with my kids which I always call my 'blessing in disguise" because pre-MS, they were off to daycare at 6am so I could commute into the city for work every day.
People often tell me they forget I have MS or don't know I have MS and that's because I don't let it rule my life, I don't talk about it, it doesn't deserve recognition. I listen to my body and rest when I need to, I go to bed REALLY early most nights, stay off my feet for a few hours each day, eat healthy, exercise and roll with the punches.
What's the point of dwelling on what could have been when you can play the hand you were dealt and make the most of it, live your best life! So Happy 10th Anniversary MS, I won't say I love you, I won't say i'm looking forward to many more years together, in fact I wish we could get divorced but since we can't, just know that I will continue to fight you every damn step of the way.