Managing the Invisible Side of MS

ms_stories1106How many times have you been approached by well meaning friends, coworkers or loved ones who say things like "you look great" or "I bet you wouldn't be so tired all the time if you just exercised more"? We all know people do not purposely say these things to insult us. It is however, one of my most personal frustrations.

I have balance issues from time to time, I stumble and I have lost sight to the point I can no longer drive. To look at me though,the average person would not know I have MS. As the saying goes though, I certainly have the MRI's to prove it!

Unfortunately, the damage that MS has done to me is on the inside. No one can see it, some of my family and close friends realize it but few really empathize how difficult it is to live it.

I no longer have limitless energy. I tire after a couple of hours both physically and mentally. My muscles tire quickly and so does my mind. I have lost much of my short term memory, often repeating the same stories over and over. I lose the same things several times each day, my glasses, my debit card or anything else for that matter. I have difficulty getting the right words out at times. When writing I find myself needing to completely rewrite my sentences because the word I want to use won't come to my head. Even doing simple math in my head provokes significant anxiety.

What makes this so frustrating is that I once was the manager of a very busy Emergency Department. I have a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and a Master's Degree in Business. Things that were once very easy for me are now incredibly difficult. Yet, when people see me I still hear "you look great". I don't argue, I do look great!

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