Praying It's Not So: The Fear Of An MS Diagnosis
Last updated: February 2023
I loved being a Sunday school teacher. I loved it when I was a leasing agent. I loved being an administrative assistant. I loved when I was awarded the Inspire Award during my employment at our local university. I loved driving, especially driving a stick shift (5 speed) vehicle. I loved my first apartment and living independently.
There are many things that I have loved over the years, but what I loved most was becoming a mother. The love of this role was magnified over all the others.
Doing anything to protect my family
I love my family. I would do anything within my power to protect my four sisters or help them, and it has always been this way. For example, when I was eight or nine years old, my oldest sister who is about three years my senior and her friend and I were outside playing. I distinctly heard my sister tell her friend that she didn't want to play "leapfrog." Yet, when my sister bent to do something, her friend "leaped" over her anyway. My sister hit the ground and with no hesitation.
I … Well, let's just say that she played no other surprise games of "leapfrog" - not with my sister anyway. When I became a mother, this characteristic only intensified when it came to my children.
Worried my daughter could have MS
And now, with the heightened love, urge to protect, help and and nature to nurture, I find myself in a state of apprehension, uncertainty and, being totally transparent.. a tinge of fear. Something like when I received the urgent call that my elementary-aged son was in distress on the school's playground having an asthma attack and needed immediate medical care – and he'd never even been diagnosed with asthma. Or when at three months old, my daughter was having upper respiratory issues and I took her to her PCP who determined her oxygen count was dangerously low, and they immediately had to call 911. She was diagnosed with RSV.
Fast forward 19 years later, and my daughter has another doctor's appointment coming up, as of my writing this – with my neurologist. She has been experiencing numbness and tingling in her arm and hand, facial numbness, vision blurriness – all on her right side – headaches, and now, bladder urgency. All symptoms are intermittent, but unmistakably presenting.
Praying it's not so
I know not to 'claim' anything, and I also am cognizant that there are other conditions out there, but I've lived with MS for nearly 15 years. How can I help not to think about "it," the possibility? How can I not think "what if?" I DON'T WANT THIS FOR MY CHILDREN! And yet, like I've learned from witnessing some other things that they have encountered growing up, the reality is I can't protect them from "life."
My son, now 30 years old, eventually grew out of asthma. 19 years ago, my daughter recovered from RSV. You don't grow out of or recover from MS. You live with it and all that it comes with. But with all my love, I'm still here for them, for her, no matter what. That'll never change. I'm just praying it's not so.
Do you ever have moments where you question your self worth because of your MS?