Empowerment and Quality of Life

I was first diagnosed in October 2000. I was disbelieving because I had been an avid runner (50+ miles a week). The sympathy of friends who only knew the negative stories of MS was a little unnerving. But I refused to take it lying down. I have experienced many of the common MS symptoms like fatigue, susceptibility to heat, poor balance, bladder frequency, sleep interruption, difficulty walking and brain fog.

Adjusting my habits and expectations

My attitude has been and will always be to do as much as I can for as long as I can. Adjust my habits and expectations to fit my current situation. We have bodies and minds that are capable of great things and we need to continue contributing our talents and gifts. I've noticed that my friends and family are fairly supportive. But they sometimes do not understand or realize the little things that have become difficult (like walking across a carpet, or carrying more than a pound while walking, or needing a rest if faced with walking through a large store if there are no motorized carts). If no aid is available this is where I must do it for myself (though aid would be appreciated - like an arm to steady me through snow and ice).

Empowered to triumph

I am appreciative and amazed at how many people are willing to help with simple things like lifting my walker in and out of my car or helping me up 3 or 4 stairs inside their home. I try to focus on what I can still do and always challenge my mind, but not force my body to do risky endeavors. Others are drawn to a positive attitude despite adversity. I am empowered to triumph over MS because I believe in loving and appreciating my fellowmen. Granted I might have a different experience if I lived in a big city such as New York or Los Angeles where life is hurried and lacking in compassion, or if I worked in a competitive and unsupportive environment.

The power of compassion and understanding

But I believe in humanity and that we all have struggles. We just need compassion and understanding and we will be better people. Though my struggle is physically apparent I try to be aware of others inner struggle. That is why I have MS because it has pulled me away from being obsessed with myself and my struggles to becoming aware of others.

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