I miss what I used to be

I'm now 58. I was diagnosed with MS over ten years ago.

In my old life I was a runner, running mini-marathons regularly. I loved to work out - loved to take the dogs to the local state park and hike for miles. I loved working in the yard for hours, weeding and planting.

And now? I feel like a flight of stairs is Mt. Everest. I walk with the aid of a cuff sending electrical impulses to my foot. The word "hurry" no longer exists for me. It takes an hour and a half to shower and dry my hair. I cannot do any task which requires small motor skills. I no longer recognize the person I used to be.

I work part-time at a job where I sit and not much else. I used to be the most energetic teacher - and a very good one. I now make $12 an hour, four hours a day, Monday through Thursday and am exhausted. Yet since I can still move, I don't qualify for disability.

So I smile, sit at home alone, isolated. I do have a completely understanding husband who is gone most of the day. One daughter lives across the country and the other just doesn't help me.

I am lonely, I am alone; I am a ghost of my former self.

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