MS As It Relates To Ruthlessness
MS is a chronic, unkind disease to live with. You're moving about in life, and it accosts you. Just happens upon its unsuspecting 'victim' for no known reason. When it gets you, it holds no punches and can be cut-throat, callous, and uncaring.
There are times I'll see, hear, or read about some non-illness travesty, and the horrid effects of the event can trigger me to reflect on the ruthless effects that I experience from MS. A hellacious incident this year made me reflect on the perils of being a mother and a daughter with MS.
Being a mother
In Memphis, Tenn., a young man was stopped by the police. Tyre Nichols was yanked out of his vehicle and savagely beaten by several police officers, and died as a result. The video of that ruthless incident was made public, and I cringed when I heard Mr. Nichols yelling for his mother, his loving, nurturing safety net.. "Mommm…" even though he knew she couldn't come and stop this ruthless act.
I understood him calling for his safety net. I have a safety net and am a safety net – a daughter and a mother – with MS, a ruthless disease with ruthless effects. My mother can't make it go away. And when my daughter was in distress, I couldn't get to her to make her pain go away.
MS caused my body to attack itself for reasons unknown and has shown no mercy. Over the years, it has yanked away my independence by robbing me of both my fine and gross motor skills. I can no longer walk, have very limited use of my hands, experience weakened muscles, numbness, pain, fatigue, sensory issues, incontinence, seizures, and more. I am unable to drive, cook for myself, clean my own home. Life as I lived and loved until age 37, MS took.
My new normal with MS
My new normal is sometimes both emotionally and physically overwhelming. And I just need my mom; she'd love to make it all better for her 'baby,' but can't. And when I want to be a physical mom to my daughter, I can't. MS' ruthless effects have caused this hurt and frustration. As a person, daughter, mother, I liken MS and its effects in my life to that brutal beating – and hearing that anguished cry "Mommm..." – to no avail. Ruthless.
With all of that said, because ruthlessness is rather grim and dark, I also want to 'brighten the room' by sharing a heartwarming reflection on being a daughter and a mother with MS.
Caring for loved ones
My mother was with me on July 13, 2007, at my follow-up appointment with the neurologist after my MRI and I was diagnosed with MS. The more the doctor talked, the higher I climbed my emotional ledge. The doctor gave my mother and I a few moments alone. With her soft, kind, warm voice of reason, she spoke logically, with practicality and love. In essence, she let me know that I could do this and I wouldn't be alone. By the time the doctor returned, I'd descended from said ledge.
My mother was there then and remains a wonderful, loving support. I believe because I was reared, nurtured and loved by a mother such as mine, I have that innate maternal love and care for my own children. MS cannot take that away. I can't focus on the negatives of being a mother with MS. As I wrote in a previous article, Mothering In Spite Of:
"... The good thing is, MS has not quelled my determination to be the best mother I can be, raise my children to be the best that they can be and live my best life for myself and for them."
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?