If a tree falls down in a forest but no one is there to witness it, did it actually happen?
Prior to being a "young adult", I always considered the random tingling, numb sensations in my fingers and toes as not worth mentioning. Sometimes, the sensation would be so fleeting that I forgot to notice it even happening. Basically, trees falling in a forest.
In September 2006, fall quarter of my sophomore year in college - I got my first blurry grey spot in my left eye. It was such a strange and scary moment for me but only because it was happening during midterms. I couldn't even wrap my head around anything else but keeping my GPA in the top 10% of my class and this little grey annoyance threw a monkey wrench in my plans.The optometrist said it would just go away and could not give me a clear diagnosis. One week later at my follow-up appointment, the spot was gone.
I had a few more tingling and spasticity issues but I didn't think much of it.
October 2009 - Mid-semester the grey spot reappeared. This time, with a wider diameter and more opaque. Again, I was more frustrated with the inconvenience of postponing my final than I was with the actual impaired vision. During my break, the onslaught of appointments began.
Primary --> Optometrist --> Ophthalmologist --> Neurologist --> MRI --> confirmation
LIFE AS IT IS NOW...
these days, I feel so blessed and grateful for the rude awakening I had. But the epiphany has less to do with my physical condition than it does with my perspective and attitude towards life. Gone are the days when I would work myself to the bone for a nod of approval from my boss or grade from my professor.
Still, it's been admittedly difficult as a budding, young professional. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Not seasoned enough to give up completely on the prospect of working for "the man" or "climbing the ladder" but also not ignorant enough to disregard my very real cognitive challenges. They say grass is greener on the other side... it must be true because I've lost count of the times when I wish I could swap out my cognitive dysfunction with something else that wasn't as necessary for high-level, analytically-driven, fast processing jobs (which I've been pursuing).
I won't give up hope though. And if anything, this journey will lead me towards a more fulfilling quality of life. Most people achieve that "work-life balance" later on, and I'm lucky enough (with MS's help) to get there a little sooner and enjoy life NOW :)