Living Proof

“Well… I don’t think you’ll be ambulatory in 10 years.”

That was my first neurologist’s parting words to me as my wife and I left his office.

For the past month, I hadn’t been able to stand unassisted, see much of anything with my jumping eyes, feel anything from my chest down, or even know when I needed to use the bathroom. That’s just the beginning of a list of maddening symptoms that dominated my waking hours.

In addition to the physical symptoms, my mind was so foggy, so slow to process, that I had a difficult time understanding even the simplest comment, thought, or concept.

It's a helpless fight

And now, in essence, the doctor was telling me it’s hopeless. No need to fight it because I wouldn’t ever be able to function by myself on any useful level.

It was like a punch in the gut.

His comment colored my thoughts and life for the next two years.

Why even try? Why get on a disease-modifying therapy? Why try to exercise? Why plan on a future? I was going to get worse, and then I was going to die.

But the thing is… he was wrong. He was incredibly and earth-shatteringly wrong.

I was giving MS more than it was taking

MS almost took my life from me, and then one day I recognized that I was ‘giving’ MS even more than it was ‘taking’ from me. That is the day I started the journey back to among the living again. I started exercising, eating better, and starting trying to reengage with the world.

I completely gave up for two years, and while there were several reasons I can think of, there is only one of those reasons that is connected to all the others.

“Well… I don’t think you’ll be ambulatory in 10 years.”

Things can improve

Today… 20 years later... I realize that no-one can know for certain what tomorrow holds.

MS may take more from me, but it’ll have to take it because I will no longer give in or give up without a fight.

No matter what anyone says, things CAN improve.

I’m living proof.

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