I'm a neurobiologist and medical school educator; also, a former athlete and soldier. I very quickly lost my ability to participate in sports, within a year of my diagnosis in 2003, even friendly games of slow-pitch softball. I'm using a wheelchair but continue to walk (with Canadian crutches) at home and when going short distances. The worst moments are often falls in public, but so far I'm not willing to trade the security of the chair for the continued illusion of mobility.
For a number of reasons, my career is coming to a close, which I've pretty much accepted. So far no signs of cognitive impairment, but laboratory research requires funding, which is simply too stressful. Lecturing requires energy and endurance that I often lack, though I'm going to continue teaching for another year. My ability to contribute to my department, to my institution, to the med students I teach, is still important to me.
Quality of life is paramount. Mine continues to be relatively high, thanks largely to my wife Rise, to whom I've been married for 35 years. Wealso have 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 6 grandchildren. Family, friends and community are also extremely important, and I'm extremely fortunate in each of these. And of course, the health system one lives with contributes hugely as well. Here in Israel, we have, fortunately, a pretty good system.
Here's what I tell others I meet with MS: One thing I've learned over my many years as an MS patient and as a neuroscience researcher: no two people are alike. This means that what helps one person may not help you, and vice versa. Don't wait for a cure, it's not around the corner. Try things that strike you as logical and are affordable. Solicit the opinions of others with MS and people you just trust or respect. I checked out CCSVI for almost a year before I went to the States to be treated. It was not cheap, but we determined that it was manageable. I have no regrets, even though I didn't benefit. Some people have been helped by this, and there was no way to know that I wouldn't.
I try and remember that there are worse things than MS.