I've had MS for six years and unfortunately, it has and still is severely and negatively impacting my life.
I was diagnosed about one year after receiving my PhD in higher education leadership, and after I had just been promoted to the position of full Director at work. While on leave to recuperate from a nagging case of extreme exhaustion and anxiety, which I thought was due to the work I had just done finishing my PhD while working full time and raising three energetic kids, I noticed myself feeling even more sluggish....to the point where I couldn't do more than wake up, eat a little breakfast, and then go back to bed. Same for lunch. By dinnertime most days I could barely find a little energy to chat. On Thanksgiving day 2010, I opened my eyes to discover that I couldn't move. My body felt like it had been turned to stone. Several trips to the ER and then to the neurologist later, I learned that I had MS.
The road since then has been full of loss and pain. And doctors. Many many doctors. I've lost my balance, my good shoes, and it seems half of my other senses and abilities. For example, I've lost half of my sight and taste and smell and sense of feeling. (I'm estimating, of course.) Also, I've lost my ability to sleep without medications. And my ability to sit without it hurting. Basically, MS has obliterated the woman I knew myself to be and left a shell behind. I refuse to lie or pretty it up. It's been a hellish roller coaster that I can't get off of.
That being said, there is still joy in my life. The joy of knowing Jesus Christ as my savior and of leaning on Him more than I've ever had to and finding that He is there for me. The joy of having extra time with my children and learning how very delightful and supportive teenagers can be. The joy of discovering how stubborn I can be when it comes to advocating for myself...because I have no one else who will do it for me. The joy of exercising each day and finding out that my frail body WILL still cooperate if coaxed. The joy of discovering who my real friends are...and finding out I only have one in the entire world and that's more than enough. The joy of finding new authors and new movies because it means that I have another book or movie to enjoy, which helps to fill the empty hours.
I could go on, but I'm tired. I'm swiping this...not typing it...because I can't type anymore. I'm left with only the use of my right index finger to swipe. And it gets tired.
So that's me. I will continue to walk through the fire that is my life. And gosh darn it, I will continue to do so for as long as I can! MS is a beast. It is stronger than me. But as I tell those who ask me how I'm doing, I'm going to continue doing the absolute best that I can, for as long as I can!