How To Dance Through Life with MS

How To Dance Through Life with MS

I was reading about ballerinas the other day. Ballerinas are often seen as these beautiful, graceful dancers that so effortlessly dance and glide across the stage. As you watch a ballerina dance your mind is in awe of the elegant twirls, leaps and different poses they strike as they seemingly float across the floor. Their poise and graceful moves are enchanting, and in the moment it’s easy to forget all of the pain and wholehearted dedication that it took to get there. Ballerinas wear certain pointe shoes to make them appear magical. They create an illusion of lightness and are what make the ballerina appear that they are floating on air.

Anything but comfortable

The shoes appear dainty, but these special shoes are anything but comfortable. They are packed at the toes with layers of fabric and even cardboard or wood. The dancer must depend on their shoes to be extremely sturdy, because the entire weight of their body is balanced on such a small platform. It is essential that the pointe shoes be broken in as no two pairs are the same. As the ballerina breaks in her shoes their feet blister and bleed. They spend long hours practicing for their upcoming performances. Yet, when we watch a ballet it becomes so easy to forget all of the blood, sweat and tears they had to put into such a beautiful talent. We don’t see the suffering they’ve gone through to achieve the art of ballet. A ballerina hides her strength in her beauty. We as an audience see the outward beauty, but only they know the difficulty it took to get there.

Just another person floating through daily motions

Living life with relapse-remitting MS can feel much the same for me at times. I am very fortunate to not have any physically obvious symptoms. My symptoms are primarily invisible. To the naked eye people may see me as just another person floating through the daily motions, but they don’t see the suffering I’ve endured to get to where I am today. Life with MS is often unpredictable, and like the pointe shoes, no two people with MS are the same. We all have different issues.

One day at a time

And as nice as it may be to not have visible symptoms, it can be frustrating for others to be unable to see what we’re going through. MS has taken its toll on my body in every aspect; physically, mentally and emotionally. However, because of these struggles I have learned the art of taking what life throws at me and dancing through them as effortlessly as possible. It can be difficult, and at times I almost desperately want others to understand what a day in the life of MS entails. There are days where I feel defeated and purely exhausted (both literally and figuratively) and on those days I wish I could painlessly do things like my friends and family who do not live with an invisible illness. I have to depend on myself to stay strong in every way to get through the pain, fatigue, and other issues. Like a ballerina hides her strength in her beauty, we must also learn how to hide the pain and keep gliding through life. One day at a time.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (9)
  • mascha
    9 months ago

    Thanks for your great article and making me see,that my struggles are not alone. X

  • RaniPaints
    2 years ago

    When my MS was RR,it really is helped those invisible symptoms to 1,quit all sugars and starches (HUGE reduction in fatigue!),2,eliminated the worst negatives in my life, 3,let go of things I really couldn’t do and replace them with things I could do. Being genuinely *happy* really helps with dealing with MS.

    Personally,though,I wasn’t crazy about the article. Perhaps it’s because I’m way past this stage and I’d give my eyeteeth to go back to the stage where my worst symptoms were fatigue, pain,and balance problems. My MS is secondary progressive,the last time I walked was May 15,2002. If there’s an MS God, I’d like to ask him “how’s it possible to have numbness and pain at the same time?” And my son would like to ask him, “why did you afflict my mother with this horrible thing? She did so much for everyone and doesn’t deserve this.” Now my kids and hubby are my caregivers. I’m so blessed, especially with that now-grown son who gets me showered and in/out of bed. He’s an atheist because he said if there really is a God,He wouldn’t let this happen. I know God doesn’t control this, but it’s hard on children to watch their mom deteriorate into an invalid state. Who expected to be full-time wheelchair in their 40’s?? Not me.

    If y’all are on meds that are slowing or even halting the progression, STAY ON ‘EM! I tried several but they didn’t help.You may not realize it, but you’re LUCKY to be in early RRMS at a time where there’s so much research going on with new meds coming out every year!

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi RaniPaints (When I first saw your name I read RainiPaints, and in my mind’s eye I saw that lovely scene from Mary Poppins in the park with the sidewalk chalks!) Thanks so much for being here and for sharing your story, your encouragement, and your grace. We’re so glad you’re here. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • chalknpens
    2 years ago

    We are all as different as the snowflakes beyond our old windows … I also have invisible symptoms, cog fog, fatigue, pain and disorientation when surrounded by crowds or in a noisy setting. And closer to seventy than sixty, some invisible symptoms are compounded by age. But I dream of being able to fly. I dream of being able to stand on pointe, like my lovely niece does each year in The Nutcracker performances. In my dreams I do dance through life, leaping over challenges like hurdles. I only feel badly when others remind me of their greater suffering with ms … I persevere because I persevere.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi chalknpens, thank you for sharing your lovely evocative thought – almost a poem. They were sweet and evocative and brought tears to my eyes. Sending all good wishes for wings and a sweet wind to lift you up. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • potter
    2 years ago

    I am more of steady pace with a occasional stumble person, if I can keep this up I will be pleased. Potter

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Potter, it sounds like a perfect philosophy to me! All we can do is the best we can do. Thanks for being part of the community and for sharing your thoughts. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • reenie53
    2 years ago

    Lovely analogy. For many the hidden work it takes to just live is unseen by so many. I’m glad that you are still well enough to be able to hide the MS that lurks inside. For my husband, there’s no hiding anymore. In a way it is a relief as I don’t have to explain so much to people why he’s wheelchair bound. It also gives them pause to consider what it takes to live with MS and for those taking care of the people with MS. When it’s “invisible”, many think it’s not that bad…..unless they walk in those slippers, or care for someone who does.

  • chalknpens
    2 years ago

    you will keep this up if you keep this up, Potter! Wishing you and all a Merry Christmas ahead!

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