Archive for December, 2011

California

Written by on December 20th, 2011 – No Comments

During my first two relapses I took a pounding. It was one thing on top of another, on top of another, and so on. Unfortunately there was no relief for the symptoms of the first relapse. Medication helped ease some of the discomfort of the second. When the smoke cleared, I was left with a body that I didn’t recognize. For a good eight months or so, it had behaved in a way that I couldn’t predict or control.  When everything settled down, I felt like I did before. Everything worked again, like it did before. However, I was unsure of how to act or what to do. I was walking on eggshells around my own body, afraid to set it off again. (more…)

My Speech: Part 2

Written by on December 15th, 2011 – No Comments

However, as is often the case in life, out of the negative has come some positive. These past few years, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of family and close friends. That my husband drags himself out of bed at 6 some mornings to help me with my injection before I leave for work, or that my friends work so hard to raise money for the MS Walk on my behalf, tells me that I am loved. I am forever grateful for this.

I’ve also learned to live as we all should, by enjoying today. When I was first diagnosed, the only way I could get out of bed in the morning was to say to myself, “Today, it’s okay”. Two and a half years later, I have taken that a step further. (more…)

My Speech: Part 1

Written by on December 13th, 2011 – No Comments

I recently had the honour of speaking at the endMS Gala in Toronto. Here is my speech.

I work as an elementary school teacher. For a few years my school participated in the MS Read-A-Thon fundraiser.  The Read-A-Thon campaign starts with a kick-off assembly. Volunteers from the MS Society come and explain the disease in a simple way to the students. During one assembly, I remember thinking, “That is a terrible disease.” That there is nothing wrong with your foot, but you can’t move it because your nerves can’t properly relay the message from your brain to your foot; that is terrible. Each year during the event itself, I dutifully encouraged my students to read, felt sad for people with MS and, as we all do with things that don’t affect us directly or indirectly, I put it out of my mind and went on with my life.  Fast forward two or three years and I was in the neurologist’s office. (more…)

Always Questions

Written by on December 6th, 2011 – No Comments

When I was first diagnosed with MS I told few people. Like almost everyone on this site, I told only a certain few; those closest to me. When asked by casual acquaintances why I walked on crutches I gave what I am sure seemed like feeble excuses: leg problems, nerve issues, etc. It took a long time for me to open up and tell people I had MS. I suppose one could argue that I didn’t want people’s pity, or that awkward moment to occur when people just don’t know how to treat you after finding out. I couldn’t stop my parents from telling people though. It seemed like they were telling every Tom, Dick and Harry. That was there way of coping. They needed to talk about it. They needed to be open about it. (more…)

Cape or Glasses?

Written by on December 1st, 2011 – No Comments

Cape or glasses, decisions decisions!

I am known among my friends for being the quiet, reserved, and responsible one. I am the Clark Kent of the story, not Superman (or woman in my case). It is not usually in my nature to be loud, or attention seeking. I am routine oriented, organized and thrive in structure. MS is anything but these things. It’s like this disease lies in wait for you to make plans then mocks you and forces you to change everything. I swear I am only mildly bitter! I don’t get mad though, I get even; at least my version of even.

When I was first diagnosed with MS I felt like my world was spiralling out of control. I couldn’t control my legs, I had appointments all the time, important decisions I didn’t feel ready to make. At 21 I had a hard time coping. So I thought I would control what I could. I started dying my hair. I naturally have dark blonde hair; this would prove to be a very useful canvas. (more…)