Everyone can look back 5 years and say wow I was so different then. We can all remember the things we did years ago that we are not able to do now. We also recognize the loss of abilities that come with the passing of time.
My progression is rapidly affecting me
Yes, we all become different people over time but my progression seems to be more in months than years. I remember last summer walking at our local park. Today I wouldn’t even attempt a trip around that walking track. It’s like my life is always evolving into something new. One day I can accomplish task that are impossible for me only one day later. Then in a few weeks I’m able to do it again but not at the same level or intensity.
MS has stolen so much from me
MS has stolen so much from me that I could probably name fifty aspects of my life it has touched. I guess the top things are my job, my ability to walk, my driving privileges, and my independence.
As people suffering with MS we face immense hardships due to our physical disabilities and have to overcome social stigma that surrounds the disease. I feel that pressure every time I mingle with the general public. Whether it is true or all in my mind, I feel that people are always staring at me.
The obstacles of integrating with normal society
Some people politely ask what’s wrong but most don’t say anything. I believe they jump to the wrong conclusions and think the worst. I usually get sympathetic smiles and nervous sounding hellos. But I also get dirty looks that I interpret as, “She looks fine to me, why does she need that scooter?”
Another major obstacle is trying to integrate with normal society. Most events and venues do not cater to people suffering with MS, which makes assimilation discouraging and sometimes impossible. When interaction is achieved usually one of the first questions most commonly asked is, “So what do you do for a living?” The majority response is an answer that explains what you do to be a productive member of society. In the eyes of most people that means having a job. Many with MS have been stripped of their life long answer to that question. While in the past we could have proudly said I am a teacher, a lawyer or a waitress. Now we must deal with the fact that we are on disability or only able to work a part-time job. This loss can make interaction uncomfortable. For me, I usually indecisively respond by saying, “I am retired”. Then I try to move to another subject.
MS is an identity thief
MS leaves its victims striving for the best quality of life we can get. After all, Multiple Sclerosis does not kill us. For me it is annoying and a huge inconvenience that sometimes causes problems. I acknowledge Multiple Sclerosis in moderation but I do not let it run my life. Still it does continue to humble me and shape my world. MS is recreating me.
Multiple Sclerosis robs us of our outside roles and independence. Which most times amounts to our identities. I guess you can say MS is a thief. Or better yet an identity thief.
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