Let me first introduce myself before you read this so you can better appreciate my stance.
My name is John, I am a primary/elementary school teacher from the UK with a history PhD. I am newly diagnosed but have definitely had relapsing/remitting since an early age (I had Glandular Fever at around the age of 8). A lot of the symptoms, like I’m sure many of you, I previously just put down to ‘laziness’ and simply pushed through and wrote it off.
As a newly diagnosed MSer, I must feel like I should react to the attitude that we all succumb to (with our without MS) and one expressed in many articles or Multiplesclerosis.net.
Like the author of the most recent article of this ilk ‘Sensational Headlines and False Hope’, I am a fellow “optimistic-realist”. I must say that this article, like many, is excellently written and captures our plight and that we “watch MS take bigger chunks from our life” as we appease it.
Well, we do the above and we should be proud of this.
For me, as a teacher, it has given me a surprising insight into people with learning difficulties. As I dip into ‘relapses’ I am distinctly less sharp, less able to tackle a problem. To be honest, it is unsettling.
However, it can be a blessing. We MSers have an insight into what age has in store for us and how we can best tackle and overcome learning difficulties. Through colourisation lenses, note taking and using kinesatic imagination I have, like other MSers, battled reading comprehension and recognition challenges, and moreover, know how to pass this information on to children who face similar problems like Dyslexia and inference problems.
In short, I consider myself lucky that I do not fear age. MS has shaped me but in a way that I am quite relieved of.
I am an approachable empath who doesn’t mind taking risks for my own gain. I love how MS has made me.
Please allow me to give you another example. I enjoy studying history, specifically socio-economic history and historic buildings. Before, and during my ‘good days’, I can visit a local family’s hall/home and see the subtle architectural dynamics. In contrast, on my ‘bad days’ I appreciate the aesthetics of the building and look upon it with more unlearned awe. Effectively, this dispenses with the formal education and literature that I have been exposed to.
Basically, I am sorry if this offends but although I more frequently curse the limitations that MS imposes on my lifestyle that many articles talk about. But, in my paradigm of the universe (my religion), I believe we get one shot at this life. Should we not decide to be thankful for the attributes that our individual strengths and weaknesses bestow us, including MS?
I want to wish you all luck and hope you similarly find some positives in this horrible disease.