fox hides and holds half a ripped scarf in its mouth as woman wearing the other half walks away

The Impact Of What MS Takes Away

Never necessarily a math whiz in school, I knew what I knew and some areas were better than others. Basic arithmetic, for example, was never an issue for me. I was fine with, "if Johnny has ten apples and his friend takes away five, how many apples does Johnny have left? Johnny has five left." I got it. Subtraction (basically, the concept of what was left as a result of taking something away) was understood.

Said concept continues to resonate with me not in math, but as it correlates with my life with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS: the essence of the take-away concept (what it takes away). MS is degenerative and as the disease progresses, it only adds challenges. That's a different story. This article focuses on various ways the take-away concept has impacted me over the years of my arduous journey with this MonSter.

What MS takes from me emotionally

The MS take-away affects me emotionally: MS takes away my independence, leaving me dependent. No longer can I provide for myself in areas like personal care, food preparation, or do my own housekeeping or opening my mail. This evokes feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness.

MS takes away predictably, leaving me feeling doubtful and uncertain. No one knows just what the future holds, but it's compounded when you don't know what care you'll need, the extent of it, who can or will provide it, if and what you'll need, or where you may be in three months, four years, or ten – at home or a facility, etc. The unpredictably of MS ensures you're always asking yourself the hard questions.

What MS takes from me physically

Physically, MS takes away much of the successful use of my fine and gross motor skills, leaving me with a lack of functionality. The lack of dexterity in my fingers and hands makes it impossible to button a shirt, cut my food, plug in my cell phone charger, write, turn the pages of a book, or type on a computer for instance.

My limbs are tight and muscles weak, so my mobility is affected and I suffer with spasticity and painful spasms. I can no longer walk. Where my baseline was to stand and pivot, I can only stand for a few minutes now. My fingers are contracted as are my arms. I have very limited use of my stiff, weak body.

It has changed my life forever

The take-away concept is quite prevalent in my life as it pertains to MS. I consider myself a realist, so I see what has been taken away from my quality of life. I cannot do what I want to do or be where I want to be (figuratively speaking) right now. I want to still have the ability – and choice – to work, the opportunity to celebrate my retirement, drive, browse/shop in the store, clean my home, cook, spontaneously go to a restaurant, or go and open the door for a guest.

I still want the ability to visit my parents, siblings, other family and friends, travel, read/handle an actual book, write a quick note or fill out a form, play a good game of Uno with my J♡'s, a hearty fetch session with my fur baby, or take her for a walk.

The list can go on. But that list and more has been affected by the MS take-away. That concept has affected my life forever.

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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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