“One of the most important things to someone with a chronic illness is to be treated as an equal. Having MS does not make me any different than someone who does not.”
This was something I used to tell myself every single day since my diagnosis—it got me through the hard times and inspired me to live my highest quality of life. But as I get older and the 4 year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, I find myself questioning if this is really the case...
Have you ever experienced someone else’s ignorance or intolerance about your MS? Have you ever had someone make you feel different or isolated from the rest of the world? Well you are not! You have MS but MS does not have you; never let someone feel like less than you are.
This is my wake-up call and message to those who feel this disease defines who we are:...
I don’t know if anyone else experienced this, but after my diagnosis, I felt like half a person. I felt like everyone around me could see that I was “incomplete” because of the way I walked, slurred my speech or lost my ability to write my name. Bouncing back from this initial shock wasn’t easy.
Through my journey with MS, I’ve struggled to accept that I will not be able to do certain things all the time. Sometimes my friends want to go hiking on the weekend and my body just says “No!” There are days where I want to accomplish so many things and I have to face the reality that I’m celebrating the fact that I even got out of bed that day. This is reality.
The beginning of the New Year brings endless, powerful emotions. Emotions that make you want to become your best self and conquer all of the things that have tried to stop you in the past.
2018 does not just come with new goals for my nutrition, fitness, life experiences, or career; I am going to make 2018 my year where I finally feel more in control of my MS. I know, this is an incredibly bold statement to make, as relapsing remitting MS is an extremely unpredictable disease. But through close monitoring, adhering to my medication and constantly striving to become my healthiest self, I will become stronger than MS!...
You’re so dramatic. You try too hard. How do you stay so upbeat all the time? Why are you always so negative? You’re crazy.
These are all phrases that I have come to accept as things people will continue to say to me for the rest of my life. They all contradict one another, right? It takes you on a bit of a roller coaster when you start to think about how these could all be said to the same person, and usually within a short period of time.
Being diagnosed with MS comes with enough baggage all on its own. But going through two years of a specific form of therapy and hearing the news that the medication hasn’t actually been working? Now that’s its own animal.
Hearing the phrase “we need to switch your medication, you’ve developed new lesions” is never something someone with MS wants to hear. After going through the turmoil of the diagnosis, finishing my bachelor’s degree without my dominant hand, and finally getting back on my feet (literally), the last thing I wanted to hear was that I was still developing lesions...