I have MS and it still sounds odd to say. I believe it missed the memo on me. The one that said, “Himani is in the prime of her life. Stay away.” MS didn’t stay away. I’m a Toronto journalist, who despite a few setbacks, is determined to pen my perfect future.
In November 2004 I woke fully blind in my left eye. The night before, I had signed off on a cover feature with one of the top international news magazines and was at an all-time high. I also believed myself to be indestructible and wouldn’t let anything slow me down. So, I continued on with my day and drove to my job as a reporter with a daily paper in the city. I was healthy and strong and certain this vision loss was minor. But apparently it wasn’t. I was diagnosed with MS four months later.
Aside from having to deal with how wrong I was about being all right, I had to deal with frequent blindness and gradual numbing in my limbs. I was destroyed in having to live with the shameless dictatorship it had over my body and grappled with its unpredictable nature. The only thing predictable about it is that it forever makes unreasonable demands of me. But, I don’t give in to anything.
It took me almost seven years and now, I’ve recovered control. I’m more conscious of its wants and needs and cognizant of what makes me vulnerable to its attacks. Understanding MS, and understanding myself, I finally found the courage to fight.
“Anyone who excels in defeating his enemies triumphs before his enemy’s threat become real,” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Adversity, to me, is a triumph in waiting.
I don’t live with MS, I live.