When I was originally given the diagnosis of MS, my heart sunk! It wasn't because I knew I might be destined for a life full of challenges. It wasn't because I was afraid of giving myself a shot daily (which I have chosen not to do). It was because I had watched my favorite uncle, Joel, suffer his whole life with the disease.
I remember sitting in my bedroom, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if I would ever be able to literally watch my beautiful daughters go down the aisle and get married. It seems like a crazy place to jump, considering they were only 10 and 7 at the time, but that is how my mind was working at the time.
So, what did I learn?
1. I learned that MS is still a very misunderstood disease. As I have gone back through the books and re-evaluated the disease state, I realized many old thoughts have been ignored or skipped over. My treatment thoughts incorporate all ideas.
2. I learned that you need to be very open and honest with your children because they will hear tales from others that will hurt them more than the truth. Trying to hide my diagnosis from them at the beginning was not a good idea. I am sorry that this may have caused them more hurt than the truth.
3. I learned that a loving and supportive family and friends will get you through anything. As cliche as it may sound, I could not have gotten through any of this without my amazing husband, beautiful daughters, fabulous mother, and many other friends and family who have been there for me along the way.
4. But most importantly, I learned that I am a strong woman who will not let anything stand in my way.
Another Naturopath told me when I was first diagnosed to never own the diagnosis.
"At the moment you might be experience MS symptoms, but you do not have to experience those often." 'At the moment I am MS'ng' is a very different mindset from 'I have MS.'
So, at this moment in time, I am NOT MS'ng, but I AM living my life to the fullest! We will be going to California next week to visit with friends. My daughter and I will get to see a taping of the Ellen Show with my friend and her son. We will have many moments of laughter and joy as a family. I will also be running in the Seahawks 12K later this month and attempting to beat my time from last year.
So the big lesson I learned:
Live for the moment and enjoy every step along the way!
That isn't a lesson specific for MS at all, so please remember it when the little things start to get you down. Find the joy in everything.