There’s a certain freedom to turning 40 and realizing that, even now, I am a work in progress.
Sure, I wanted to be able to write one of those inspiring posts—you know, the ones that say look at me, I just turned 40 and I ran a marathon, or climbed a mountain, or bungee jumped off a cliff...
Starting treatment for multiple sclerosis can be scary and life-changing on many levels.
It’s not just the inconvenience of having to fit a new medication into your schedule. It’s also the fear of side effects—not to mention the fear that comes when you find out your disease is progressing.
Three games of volleyball a night is getting a lot tougher than it used to be. I’m not sure if it’s because of my age (40 is just around the corner) or my chronic illness—even five years into my diagnosis, it’s still tough to tell the difference sometimes.
The end of this year marks my fifth anniversary since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I try to think back on those early days and where I thought I’d be at this point. Of course, I’d hoped to be fitter, stronger, more confident in my knowledge of my disease...
I can still remember the very last time I called to schedule a blood donation. Donating blood was something I used to do regularly—it was a way I could give back.
But, this particular call was the first time I tried to donate after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And that day, I learned a brand new phrase: “permanent deferral.” It’s an odd phrase, really, and full of a harsh finality...
I still check on my boys every night—I don’t think they will ever be too old for me to peek in while they sleep, marveling at these gifts I have been given.
They’re growing up so fast, and some nights I can’t help but worry. That the world won’t be kind to them. That life won’t treat them fairly. That I won’t always be there to protect them...
The story is always the same.
Mom goes away for the weekend—either for a getaway with friends, or maybe to attend a conference. The trip itself is great. Mom comes home and all is well. She is just fine, thanks. Even rejuvenated...
Even if the sun was shining and the day was warm, I’d cringe whenever I’d drive by the park with my sons. Because I knew my 6 year old would ask to stop.
And I knew I’d have to say no...
In the dark days following my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, I found light with the help of family, friends and a newfound strength. My MS diagnosis even spurred me to follow my dreams—I finally finished my novel and signed with my literary agent last December.
Overall, my path post-diagnosis has been a positive one...
I’ve tried many times to write about my story with multiple sclerosis, but every time, I can’t do it. Quite honestly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to begin—MS is such an individual illness, where no two cases are exactly the same, so what works for me may not work for anyone else.
But maybe that’s just been my excuse. The thing is, it’s not easy to talk about. Even when I think I’m fine, when someone asks about it, I often realize I’m not (tears and awkwardness ensue)...