You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. This saying is often used when it comes to relationships…. But I’m referring to everyday life. After being diagnosed with MS at the age of 22 in 2010… I’ve come to realize what I had that at one point I took for granted.
I was an athlete growing up… and a klutz all at the same time. I thought that when I broke a bone and couldn’t play any sports it was the end of the world. But in reality, my wounds would heal and I would play again soon. That’s not the case anymore…
My wounds from MS cannot be healed, I can no longer do things that I once was able to. I see other people my age and actually people in general, taking things for granted in their everyday life.
Most people don’t have to concentrate when they walk, to make sure they don’t lose their balance and fall. Most people don’t have to focus when they are holding something to make sure their hands don’t lose grip of whatever they are holding.
Most people can make it through the day without needing a nap and they can also make it through the day without forgetting what they were talking about mid-sentence.
These are things I have to worry about everyday. Sometimes I get angry at how “easy” others have it and yet they don’t realize it and take it for granted. It’s a huge slap in the face when you are in your young twenties and you rely on assistive devices for your everyday life.
Being in Texas, everyone complains about the weather… but mainly because it’s annoying to them that it snows one day and the next day there is a high of 75. While yes it is annoying, I complain about the weather change for other reasons… because my symptoms are increased with the constant weather change. I can tell when a weather change is coming because my whole body just doesn’t want to function the way it should, medications or no medications.
When it comes to parenting… it must be nice to be able to go on field trips with your kids for their school…. And have the energy to keep up with your kids. I try my hardest for my kids not to be affected by my MS, but sometimes I can’t dodge it.
Most people complain that they have to do laundry and clean the house… while I sit here and wish I could do the laundry and clean the house like I used to. If I’m going to clean the house, that’s my plan for the day… Nothing else can be done because the cleaning will take every bit of energy that I have.
While I get angry at how “easy” others have it… I can’t be mad at them personally, just mad at the situation. It is really upsetting that I had to “take a break” from college, because my GPA was suffering due to my cognitive dysfunction. I went from being in honors, to not being in school at all, because my GPA dropped horribly just in one semester.
It’s not easy for someone as stubborn as myself, to admit to their disabilities…. But yet I’m sitting here fighting Social Security for disability. It’s embarrassing… for one to have to admit that I’m limited in what I can do… but then to have to sit here and fight to prove it.
Multiple Sclerosis isn’t just a illness, it’s a life changing diagnosis. Not for everyone, because everyone diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis is affected differently. Some can go their whole life, living “normal”…. While others (like myself) must reevaluate everything we once knew.
Some people say, “Oh, you’re just using your MS as an excuse.” Really???? Why would I want to go through this… why would I want to be limited… why would I not want to do something I once could… These things can’t just be “made up” and the pain and symptoms we experience can’t be explained… and there is nothing to compare it to.
Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis has made me redefine myself… Instead of being that girl who was outgoing and up for anything and always doing something (mostly outside)…. I’m now that girl who lost a lot of friends, but made new ones…. Ones that I know are true because they KNOW what I go through. I am now that girl who will do what I can to help others living with MS and to get the word out about Multiple Sclerosis… I was always a strong fighter…. But now my fight has been redirected towards something else… a harder fight, but a fight that has meaning… a fight that needs to be fought… a fight for my life back.