Has Anything Positive Happened to You Since Being Diagnosed with MS?
Every year, I attend a multiple sclerosis two-day retreat in my home state. The experience is designed for people who have been diagnosed with MS, their care partners, and loved ones. So, every attendee has some genuine interest in the event’s outlined agenda.
The weekend getaway is located in a remote, semi-isolated area. It took us about 3 hours to get there. Yet, it is still very popular and heavily attended by people from all around the state.
An accommodating event
I enjoy going to this event because the schedule is casual and all sessions are optional. So there is no pressure to attend every activity, which lessens the possibility of fatigue.
The weekend began with breakfast. Then, everyone headed to their pre-chosen seminars. Several leisure classes and thought-provoking discussion groups were available. Some included arts & crafts tutorials, round tables on various subjects, and painting lessons.
A session on positivity
This year I chose a session on positivity. I have been struggling with doubt lately and figured I needed some affirmation.
The seminar was held in a private classroom. Ten people signed up for the forum. The presenter, Joan, had all participants assemble in a circle. The discussion began with introductions. After each person said hello, Joan got right down to business. She asked us to name one positive thing that has happened since we were diagnosed with MS.
My first thought was nothing
My first thought was nothing. Nothing positive has happened. I racked my brain trying to come up with a reply. To my surprise, almost everyone else answered with ease. They were giving some profound answers.
When it was my turn, I had no idea what I was going to say out loud. I asked her to skip me. I listened to a few more incredible answers before the spotlight was back on me. But I still had no counter. So I asked if I could respond tomorrow and she agreed.
The next day, when I saw Joan, she asked me again to name one positive thing that has happened since I had been diagnosed with MS.
This time, after having a night to reflect on it, I had an answer.
The one constant in my unpredictable life
I told her, “When I was diagnosed in 2000. My boyfriend, Tommy, was right there by my side. As a matter of fact, 17 years later he is still by my side. Only now he’s my husband. So the positive thing that has happened to me since I’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is my husband Tommy. He is the one constant in my unpredictable life. He’s my sure thing since MS.”
When I got home, I kept thinking about her question. Then I started asking my friends, who have MS, the same question. Some of the answers I got were intriguing.
One friend said her new more ADA accommodating job. Another friend said he trained his self to let things go and not allow stress to control his life. And to my surprise, one person said after being diagnosed, she became a vegetarian.
So now, I want you to name one positive thing that has happened to you since you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your MS?