A fading fifteen years it has been since my diagnosis of MS was confirmed. However, little did I realize at the time, my denial of the ever present possibilities of dangers, detriments and life changing disintegration of my life’s wax had already begun.
It began the instant my neurologist showed me my films and set up my next appointment to review treatment options. But in all honesty, how could I really grasp the potential power of this disease MS, this Diminisher, to so alter my life as I knew it? There was so much I did not know, so much I would never know nor be able to predict. Only through the ensuing journey propelled by the disease itself, would I come to better but never fully, understand this malady.
The harsh reality is that responsibilities remain even as The Diminsher peels away, abilities. This insidious nemesis is sometimes masked in subtlety, but nevertheless always lurking. An entity suspiciously dormant within, but festering; only to find an opportunity to present a most unwelcome and oft time’s unsuspected surprise.
The Diminisher has perfected this by way of a seemingly tactical sudden strike, resulting in an unexpected impact, if only minute, upon the dexterity and ability of one’s physical, cognitive or emotional flow causing significant pain and or challenges. Cruelly compounding this occurrence, at times, the entire individual’s designed humanness is affected simultaneously. So is the experience of many like myself, within the ranks of MS.
As an MS mom I sentimentally recall a mother who once briskly walked the shores of Lake Erie with my kids and dog, one who though gingerly with a 3 prong cane, made her way to the bleachers to watch her daughter in her high school marching band.
In retrospect the past five years of changes seemed to move slowly, but were in actuality rushing to a climax unforeseen. It was so sudden and unexpected, this stubborn relinquishing of mine of moving about with and at ease. As it has been also, my experiencing a reversal of graduation of sorts of walking a mile on my own, to slowly embarking across the grassy park with my children and dog with a cane, to barely mile-stoning it an eighth of a mile with a walker.
The Diminisher has proven persistent and retained the uncanny power to summon at will, unwanted challenges at the most inconvenient of times, when lastly to date of the past two years, my daughter utilized her abilities by pushing me in a transport wheelchair on her campus visits.
Could all be worse? But of course, however the physical, emotional and spiritual adjustments one struggles to confront as their abilities wane, take a unique toll. These are magnified as those you love and those loving you so very much; watch functions diminish ringside along with you.
Yet, simultaneously and strangely enough, the fight to not allow your self-esteem be undermined due to lessened faculties brings an extraordinary life opportunity to build something grand within yourself; Strength, Power, Self-Love. These qualities I am seeking and to various degrees have found them, but perhaps not before initially experiencing anger, as I believe that with anger there is a great choice and power for lasting good.
These last five years brought a deeper and fuller understanding of self and the world around me.
The Diminisher lessons though at some great cost, have indeed profoundly proven great.
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?