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Sharing One Of My 'In Spite Of MS' Experiences

I did a thing, and it was awesome! I was unsure initially but encouraged to go for it, so I did. It was a success.

I couldn't ignore the twinge of apprehension, nor the inner whisper of 'what if?', the tingle of uncertainty and the smidgen of doubt in the back of my mind. Who am I to make plans and assume all will be well with MS and its horrible unpredictability? Well, I did it. I did a thing in spite of MS, and it was an awesome experience!

Turning to writing and sharing my story

I began with using a cane. And then I had more and more issues with fatigue, incontinence, and my hands losing their dexterity. It was difficult to write and type. Approximately 12 years post-diagnosis, I was sedentary and in a wheelchair. And I never knew what type of day I'd awaken to, or if MS would rear its ugly head at some point on a seemingly 'good' day.  I just found it harder and harder and harder. Yet, I pushed to do what I could in spite of MS.

When the time came and MS brought me home instead of working, I wanted to do something meaningful, with purpose. And be impactful with my time. I thought about my love of writing that I'd not seriously employed, and asked myself "why not now?" MS had attacked my fine and gross motor skills, but I could still write by pushing keys or using voice to text. So the idea of freelance writing was a hit.

"Now, what can I write about? Well, what brought me 'here' makes perfect sense," I thought, and I began writing about my MS journey. I even, over time, began to write about other things such as my thoughts on current events, and community and social issues. I also ventured into poetry. My writings have appeared on MS sites such as Multiplesclerosis.net, in local newspapers, and a few anthologies.

Submitting a poem

One evening, I was thinking about life and the various mishaps and favors we face along our trajectories. We may go through the blues, but then we smell the roses. They're different for everyone. (Incidentally, my largest 'blue' is MS, but doing things in spite of MS is when I can smell the roses).

At any rate, I was inspired to write a poem, Viewing Life Flowerfully. Several months later, I happened upon a call for submissions for a poetry anthology, Delaware Bard's Poetry Review 2023. I entered said poem for consideration, and it was chosen for publication!

Wanting to read my poem in-person

Once the book was printed, there was going to be a book launch event at a nearby hotel. The poem authors were invited to attend and read their poems. I wanted to go and read mine sooo bad! BUT.. I couldn't ignore the twinge of apprehension nor the inner whisper of 'what if?', the tingle of uncertainty and the smidgen of doubt in the back of my mind. Who am I to make plans and assume all will be well with MS and its horrible unpredictability?

Plus, I'm pretty much homebound. If I go out, I require the use of the Paratransit because it has wheelchair accessibility. I checked their hours as the event was in the evening, and they were available. On a cold rainy night, I went!

One of my sisters propped the book into my curled fingers – and I didn't drop it, my daughter pushed me to the front – and I was so happy she was there to do so. Another sister recorded me, and I did my thing! I proudly read for my entourage with my parents, my daughter, one of my nephews, two sisters, my aunt and uncle who were there to support me, and a room full of fellow incredible poets.

Yes.. I did it! I did a thing in spite of MS, and it was an awesome experience! You can view the video of my reading.

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