The Questions Get Harder and Harder
So the neurologists, journals, literature, and personal stories were pretty accurate. Their bottom line was that multiple sclerosis was degenerative. What I discovered rather quickly was that the translation to said bottom line was simply "it ain't gettin’ no better"... And it hasn't. Hence, with each piece of information I’ve received along my journey with MS, I find myself with new questions. I also find my questions get harder because the information received never gets easier to process. I knew the answers I needed wouldn't necessarily be medical answers to see me through.
In the beginning:
“We have to test you for Multiple Sclerosis, and we have to test you today!”
Q: What if I actually have MS?
Answer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...”
“At this point, we're not going to put you through a spinal tap. We're certain with the results from your MRI that you, in fact, have Multiple Sclerosis. There are a significant number of lesions on both your brain AND along your spine. It's important that we select a DMT, which is a Disease Modifying Treatment, as soon as possible. There are several to choose from, but unfortunately, they don't make MS go away. As of right now there's no cure; however, the DMT's are meant to slow the disease's progression.”
Q: How am I going to know the DMT that's going to work best for me?
And wait... no cure?!
A: “...Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace…”
Then several years after that:
“Based on the years you've had MS, your personal course with it, your current experiences and MRI findings - or lack thereof, I'm confident that you have transitioned into the Secondary Progressive stage of MS.”
Q: How do I deal with THIS?
A: “...Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right…”
Faced with the fact that essentially, ‘it ain't got nor gettin’ no better,’ enduring new symptoms and an increased decline in various areas, the hardest questions I've had to ask myself at this juncture are:
Q: Now what? What about my future?
A: “...If I surrender to His Will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next...”
I have lived with MS since 2007 and I'm still here, still smiling and still making my life ‘work’. I must be doing something right, wouldn't you say? Ultimately, I encourage every warrior to trust your instincts, your specialist, your God and take serious heed of the Serenity Prayer.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to check in. How are you feeling?