A Begrudging Happy MS Anniversary

I remember sitting in my office at the school when my supervisor walked in and asked how I was doing. “I think I’m dying,” I said. “Oh girl, you’re doing fine” she responded, as she proceeded to list all of the things I was doing well. “No” I insisted, “my whole left side is numb, I think I’m dying.” That was the last time I saw the office of that particular school.

That was a year ago today. I went from working a 12 hour day one day, to being unable to work for almost a year due to lingering and debilitating symptoms of a newly diagnosed chronic illness.

2017 has been a very dark and evolving year. There were days I’d wake up feeling as if someone poured wet cement on my entire body as I slept and topped it off with a pregnant elephant as I tried to get up. I was bedridden for days at a time. When I was able to get up, my legs didn’t seem to work right, my arms were too weak to even hold up a remote and/or a thousand hot invisible needles were simultaneously pricking my entire body.

Moving forward was difficult and emotional. Even when things started to get better, I could no longer drive (and play chauffeur to my very active kids) even a short distance because for some reason driving caused spasms and painful numbness all over. Cleaning a half bathroom left me incapacitated for two days afterwards, and folding a load of towels put me into a 5 hour coma-like sleep. I had difficulty walking but refused to acknowledge it and spent a lot of time hugging walls as I maneuvered through the house. As a result, I didn’t leave the house much, if at all and when I did, I needed someone else to drive me.

My independence and pride/ego were shattered.

Indeed, a lot has happened and changed over the course of this year. While things are gradually getting better and I’ve returned to work part time, I am still in search of my new normal. My mind, my dreams and aspirations, my intentions for the future are as strong as they ever were. It’s been a challenge accepting the fact that I am now in an unequally yoked relationship with my own body. Who am I kidding? I haven’t really accepted it. I’m still trying to negotiate with it.

But a year later, I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made. I’m grateful for the support system that helped me carry this load and refused to let me stay discouraged. And I’m grateful that the spirit of resilience is my constant companion, guiding light and dearest friend.

A begrudging “happy” anniversary multiple sclerosis. There’s a blessing in every lesson.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net 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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