Sharing some of my MS experience

The gift of Multiple Sclerosis

Since my diagnosis in 2005, many people have spoken with me about “the gift” of MS.  There are times when I just do not want to hear it.  This illness has changed most of my relationships, led to my losing over 50 pounds, dramatically impacted my self-image, my standards for myself and my ability to make any money, and led me to cut my hair the shortest it has been since I got married 14 years ago.  (After having a weave for over a year!)  In short, it has changed my life on every level – dramatically, fundamentally and completely.


And what is the message I try to take from this?  I am still working on a well-developed, robust theory, but to put it bluntly, shit happens.  This may not be what you want or even need to hear right now – and I never thought that this would represent anything that I would come to understand about my own life.  But this is what I have come to understand – we are all very blessed individuals.  The level that we know and understand that is very important, as it will come in handy whenever – and every time – the shit hits the fan.  I have been a very protected woman over the past 50 years of my life.  Not much has happened to me that could be considered negative or difficult.  Not too many missteps (a few, but not many thankfully!).  That alone is a tremendous blessing that looking back I should have appreciated even more than I ever did.


As a practicing Buddhist (since 1984), I have come to accept that the challenges of life must be appreciated for all of their ebbs and flows.  No matter how bad it looks from the outside, within every challenge or obstacle is an opportunity to develop yourself further to become even more of the person you are here to be.  I know that each one of us has a very special mission – which is why we are here on the earth at this time – one that only we can fulfill.  We are here to navigate the challenges successfully and make it happen.  My main challenge this time around is this damn MS.  There are times when I curse it to the skies, and cry my eyes out with sadness, disappointment and fury over the daily pain through which I have been forced to navigate.  Who ever knew that I would need to learn how to inject myself with medicine every day?  That it would one day take me 11 minutes to get down the 14 stairs from my bedroom to the first floor of my own home?  That a whole year would pass without my being able to attend any events at my childrens’ school – not even field trips?  That my 80-year old mother would push ME around the mall like I pushed both my kids during the first few years of their lives? 


SO much has occurred since my diagnosis.  My thinking about it has evolved over the past three years, and I think I have a lot to share.  I hope that you will come back and read some of what has happened to me – share what has happened to you or others that you know who have dealt with the potentially life-changing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.  Let’s build a community of folks who have come together because of the reality of MS in our lives.  Let’s share what has worked for each of us and what has not – hopefully we can learn from each other….


December 1, 2008 Posted by | multiple sclerosis, Uncategorized, women's health | , | Leave a comment