The MS Physical and Emotional Roller Coaster Ride
Last updated: January 2023
I'm a diehard roller coaster fan who needs speed, bumps, and the unknown! Okay, except that dang MS physical and emotional daily roller coaster ride.
Those who do not have MS may be wondering, "What is he talking about or alluding to?" Those with MS know exactly what I am referring to. I posed this question on a Facebook site I belong to: Since living with MS, what has been the biggest impact on your life? And oh boy, did I get a bunch of responses.
I'll share what the MS warriors said as well as my own experiences of new, changing, and worsening symptoms.
Our MS ride to somewhere
The physical and emotional journey is different for all of us, depending on what type of MS we have and our progression experience. No two of us are the same, nor does our MS progression move at the same pace.
I have PPMS, which for some can mean fast progression leading to a wheelchair, or in a few cases, spending most of the time in bed. I am fortunate my progression has been very slow. Yes, I still have leg weakness, balance issues, fatigue, cognitive issues, and leg neuropathy, among other daily symptoms.
The biggest impact: Loss of control
As mentioned, I asked my fellow MS friends what they have dealt with and what was the biggest impact on their life. I'll say many people can relate to these responses, including myself.
The most common responses were about the loss of physical ability to multitask at work and home, and the inability to participate and enjoy family activities. Just a feeling of the loss of their past life and doing whatever they and their family felt like. They miss enjoying family gatherings, vacations, and parties.
MS comes along, your life changes, normal isn’t normal, and you have to think about what you can or can’t do.
Many people mentioned it feels as though they have lost the life they once had and struggle with accepting these changes. Some felt lost in how to cope, and some over time, came to accept the change, adjust, and realize MS is here for good. These life changes are difficult and can be depressing and hard to accept. We often ask, "Why me?"
My experience losing control to MS
I understand. I was at the top of my game at work, moving up, accomplishing my goals, and enjoying life. Then the fun of my worsening physical symptoms started. My day-to-day became more difficult. I had to create action item lists, which was a first. Coworkers would ask about the status of their request. I would cover by asking which task in hopes I remember and have taken action to accomplish the request.
It was time to consider retirement and accept I am not the person I was years ago. I decided to retire at the age of fifty-five, which was way too soon in my mind.
Coping with my MS diagnosis
My approach included creating a list of all I am grateful for and lucky to have in my life. A roof over my head, food on the table, family, my friends, the ability to travel and not worry about what tomorrow will bring.
Did MS change my life? Yes. Did MS change my day-to-day routine? Yes. Did MS throw a curve ball into everything I deal with? You bet it did. As much as MS turned my life upside down, I chose to refocus, set new goals, and look at the bright side of life.
Yes, it is easier for some, and not easy for others, and it truly changes your life. We all have a choice to accept or not to accept, adjust to our new normal, and keep a positive attitude. I'm not suggesting forgetting about what has changed, or ignoring that internal emotional change. Rather, keep on living the best life you can and not give up on the good in your life.
Just a little funny and the light side of life
So, what’s funny about MS? Well, there isn’t anything truly funny about MS, although I enjoy the look on people's faces while walking through the mall or to the mailbox and back. Yep, it’s that lovely MS drunk walk, as I say.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read my article, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing your journey. Remember, we are all in this MS journey together and here to help each other whenever we can. Until the next time, live life to the fullest, always pass on a good deed, and spread kindness to everyone.
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