‘PTmsD?’ My post-traumatic MS disorder

I came in to this MS world kicking and screaming a mere 6 months ago and have already had a relapse. I am saddened at the instant change in my life, my relationships, my thinking, my everything. I am also guilt-ridden for feeling envious of those MSers who adorn the covers of magazines having just ran a marathon, or those that walk unassisted, or those that hold on to their full-time jobs and juggle families.

I’m afraid of medication side-effects yet I’m a critical care nurse. I struggle with maintaining dosing myself with my DMD as my confidence in their effectiveness versus my feeling lousy dwindles.

I have ongoing anxiety of the relapse waiting around the corner. I imagine time will help with this, but every new feeling, new ache, every intermittent mild symptom–they all leave me traumatized. Oversensitivity to sounds has left me jumpy at sudden noises like a car horn, as well as causing a brain jam when my kids are too loud.

I look forward to a time when my ‘PTmsD’ is under control…under MY control. For now I am ruled by its long-arm of fatigue, cog-fog, weakness, and the list goes on.

I mourn the loss of my self, as my identity was always a nurse and educator. Coping is my new job. Full-time. No benefits—yet.

I challenge my ‘PTmsD’ to keep up once the tables are turned. I will heed the advice for myself that I’ve given so many times to families: stay strong, stay focused. Make time your best friend, not your enemy.

I am the face of MS – I am the face of my MS – I am the face of me.

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