I'm not the person I once was.

Before my diagnosis of MS my life was so different (as I'm sure most of us in this community can say the same).

Raised to be tough

I'm positive I've had MS way before I was finally diagnosed in 2016 but even then I was a different person. I was brought up that no matter what you sucked it up and carried on.

I worked a lot in my lifetime. I was a single mom for a while and still held down two jobs and kept up with my son (most days). I can remember prior to my son being born I was fatigued. It would hit me out of no where and some times it would last a few weeks and some times a few days, but I worked through it, and carried on.

After my son was born I would get fatigued or feel weird, have a bout of vertigo or dizziness but shook it off and kept going.

Things got really bad

I had a mylagram in my 30's and the hole never closed (doc didn't tell me about that being a possibility) so I was leaking spinal fluid for almost a week and didn't know it. It was so bad that I couldn't sit up without throwing up, yet I still tried to drive to work...I made it to the stop sign of my street and knew something was wrong and ended up in the ER (point being I was just going to suck it up and go to work).

I finally started going to the doctors in my mid 30's because I was getting worse, yet all the doctors called me crazy. It wasn't until I was 47 that I was finally diagnosed with MS.

My former self

The person I once was, the one with the strongest work ethic known to man. The person who would shake anything off and keep going. The one who would ignore the worst pain there was and carry on...that person no longer exists.

The person before you now won't make plans because she is afraid she will have to cancel on you. She won't do the usual clothes shopping and running around like most women her age because she is afraid of the pain it will cause or a fall she might have. She won't make plans to go out to dinner or even grocery shop unless it's on line and can just go pick it up. She can't be counted on for favors, fun times, trips with her mom or walking the dog. I am no longer that person.

My new reality

Everyone seems to say..."I may have MS but MS doesn't have me!" Well, MS does have me and it took so much from me that I am not the person I once was. I don't even mean that as far as physical (although that is a big part) but the mental me that use to exist is gone.

After 5 years, some days I am ok with that...other days, not so much. I am still getting use to not making it to my birthday parties, game nights with friends or hopping on a plane, not working, not socializing or even getting my nails done. Some days are harder than others but every day it seems to get a little easier on me as far as coming to terms with it. But I definitely am not the person I once was.

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