Tracking How I Weather the MS Storm

I dropped $495 in early November to pre-pay for a season of snow plowing for Jennifer and I's driveway. It was a heck of a cost-savings deal knowing how winter weather can wreak havoc on our mid-Michigan community.

After cutting the check, I stared out on our deck at the lawn furniture strategically stacked next to the house, fire table tightly tucked away, and gas grill deliberately repositioned to protect it from the pending snowstorms. I thought, “Well done, Team Digmann! We are completely ready for whatever nastiness Mother Nature has in store for us.”

An expect-the-worst mentality

By the time we turned over the calendar to welcome 2024, no snow had fallen and our grass still was an early September green. So much for anticipation and preparation. But it’s winter. In the Midwest. In a state that annually averages at least 40 inches of snow. It was money well-spent, right?

Sigh… I blame my overly cautious, expect-the-worst mentality on multiple sclerosis.

Such culpability isn’t because I may have wasted money on a series of pseudo snowstorms; rather, it’s because I fell to the trap of fear in the first place. Getting diagnosed with a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system can have that effect on a person.

Learning as much as I could about MS

When I first learned I had MS, I did A LOT of research about what the disease is, what it could do to me, and how I could slow its progression. I gathered all the information I could find about everything from numbness in the limbs to fatigue, mobility impairments, bladder concerns, cognitive issues, muscle weakness, blindness, and disclosing the disease at work.

Yikes! There was so much to be concerned about with this newfound nemesis that is MS.

I immediately followed up with further investigations into what I could do to thwart this uninvited and unwelcome disease. I developed a plan that included going on a disease-modifying therapy, eating better, getting more rest, staying engaged as a volunteer, exercising more, and focusing on the positive.

25 years since my diagnosis

Now, some 25 years since I was diagnosed, my MS isn’t living up to the worst-case scenarios I initially read about. I mean, I deal with constant fatigue and numbness, have intermittent bladder issues, and don’t walk as well as I once did. But I feel fortunate and blessed it hasn’t yet become more than I can handle.

It’s hard to say if this is the collective result of the actions I’ve taken over the years to try and stay physically, mentally, and emotionally ahead of MS. The reality is, I don’t know if I’ll ever know for sure, similar to the scientists who are trying to pinpoint the causes of and cures for this disease.

I just know that I can’t stop trying to beat MS and putting myself in the best position to respond to the nature of its unpredictability.

A lesson learned

And this lesson is why I “blame” MS for my spending money to pre-pay for my plowing services. I will prepare for the worst, but I’ll be elated if such an investment becomes a waste of money when the worst is never realized.

An even bigger lesson that I’ve learned about MS, winter and potential worst-case scenarios: Live each day to its fullest instead of sitting back and waiting in fear of a storm that may never come.

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

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