World MS Day: Things that have not changed since my MS Diagnosis
May 25 is World MS Day, and the theme this year is "Independence". MS can have a profound impact on so many aspects of a person's life, including physical capabilities, cognition, relationships, jobs, and overall quality of life. But with as much as MS can change, there are some things in a person's life that may remain unchanged. We asked our amazing writers at MultipleSclerosis.net to tell us what hasn't changed since their MS diagnosis, and here's what they had to say:
- My pace may have changed yet my will to do the things I love has not faltered. I continue to focus on doing stuff I enjoy -- cycling, laughing, reading, working, writing, creating, snapping photographs, traveling, gardening, enjoying friends and family -- despite living with multiple sclerosis.
- The level of engagement and willingness to share experiences with each other within the MS community. People with MS are incredibly generous with their time and talents.
- The support that people who are newly diagnosed with MS can find from others who have more experience.
- The desire for more information; the MS community is one of the smartest ones around when it comes to understanding a complex disease, its treatments and all the ramifications that come with living with a chronic disease.
- There will always be people willing to take our money for a supposed cure.
- The basic DMT CRAB drugs - Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex and Betaseron - continue to be the go-to treatments for newly diagnosed even though evidence shows a more aggressive form of treatment would be beneficial.
- There still is no cure in the public eye. I continue to hope it is in a laboratory somewhere being studied and proven.
- Something that hasn’t changed for me since my diagnosis, is my stubbornness. If anything, it’s grown.
- Yoga! I have always loved doing yoga. I started it in college as a way to exercise and to relieve stress, and I still do yoga at least 5 days per week. It's important to me to stay active and luckily this hasn't changed.
- Photography! It is something that I've always enjoyed and getting out in nature and capturing its beauty is something that truly relaxes me. I think of it as "me" time and I'm grateful that I'm still able to have this.
- Jobs! I still work two jobs. I'm an event planner and I'm a server at a restaurant.
- My desire to live a great life, no matter what comes my way.
- My commitment to raise my 3 squirrelly boys to be responsible, independent, respectful men.
- The amount of laundry & dishes I have to do hasn't changed :)
- I'm not really sure I have anything that hasn't changed since my diagnosis 16 years ago. Maybe my smile. It feels like everything has has changed over time because of it, but that doesn't necessarily mean those changes are bad. I'd say at the end of the day, my MS has made me a better person.
- The unconditional love I feel for my husband (I was diagnosed when we were dating in 1986!)
- How strongly I feel about paying it forward to others diagnosed with MS for the kindness and compassion I was shown during my diagnosis.
- My sense of humor definitely has not changed. I still always strive to see the humor and positive side of every situation.
- Music remains an extraordinarily important part of my life since the MS diagnosis. Although I've temporarily lost the use of my hands at times, I've never given up and am as strong as ever while I continue to perform my favorite Beethoven Sonatas, Chopin Nocturnes, or Debussy Preludes.
- MS hasn't stopped me from living an active life and taking the time to learn new things. For example, I've just started re-learning how to ride a bicycle and have begun to explore new areas of my county where only bikers, walkers, runners, or horsemen can go. Having a blast, too!
What hasn't changed since your MS diagnosis? Or do you feel there isn't an aspect of your life that hasn't changed? Please share with us in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you.
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