My greatest teacher: MS!
I was diagnosed with MS just after my 17th birthday, and it shattered my perception of who I was. I had been an athlete and I was planning to go to University, and suddenly I wasn't sure about anything anymore.
My first symptom was optic neuritis which went away in a couple of months. A few months after recovering completely, I began to have numbness in my feet. In the days that followed, the numbness spread to my hips, leaving me weak and limping. That was when they were able to make a definitive diagnosis, without a lumbar puncture or MRI. A few months later, the numbness vanished and so did my MS, as far as I was concerned.
I spent the next nine years in denial, but it's easier to lie to yourself when you are completely symptom free! In those nine years I began bodybuilding and got into contest level shape, completed my undergraduate degree in business, started to work in a great corporate job, and began to take my Masters degree (MBA) part time.
I was two years into my MBA when MS came back, and that time I was unable to deny what was happening to me and I became depressed. I found myself looking into self help and spiritual books, reading about meditation, yoga and acceptance. I also immersed myself in learning about MS and it's symptoms, and began to write in a journal.
I found ways to learn how to enjoy my new life with MS, including quitting my corporate job, going to school full time, finishing my MBA, doing yoga, meditating and eventually, beginning a new career in writing and stand up comedy!
Once I began to fully appreciated my situation, I started to get inexplicably better. I am now in remission, without the use of disease modifying drugs! Better yet, although I was also diagnosed with severe kidney disease it is also in complete remission, again without the use of medication.
I began journal writing as a way to recall symptoms for my eventual appointment with a neurologist but the writing paid off when I turned it into a book. I self-published in January of this year calling it: "Cures are for Pussies: A Comedian's Adventures with MS (and Other Incurable Diseases)".
After reading countless books and achieving two degrees, MS has become my greatest teacher of all! Without MS, I wouldn't have learned how to accept myself completely. Because of MS, I understanding how important it is to be happy and a full life. For that, I am forever grateful! I wouldn't ever allow myself to be cured if I had to also give back the lessons I learned!
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your MS?