When I was diagnosed with MS in 2009, I didn’t cry in the doctor’s office. I cried in the hospital parking lot on the phone with my husband. I cried all the way home in the car. I cried at my house and because I was feeling terrible and apparently wanted to feel worse, I went online and cried some more. The internet can be wonderful, but once you start going down that rabbit hole where every link on every page takes you to a darker and scarier place, it can be horrible.
After all that I read, I was sure that I was done. I would never get to do all the things I wanted to do. I was 34 with two small children and I was done.
I don’t remember how or where I came across Aaron’s story, but I remember I was gobsmacked. I knew that band. I had one of their albums.
“Look at that guy,” I said to my husband, “he plays the drums. His hands hold drumsticks and move in a coordinated way. To make music. In a band. That people pay money to see. Incredible.”
At the time I read Aaron’s story, I had just had a hard and lengthy relapse. I couldn’t really do anything with my left hand, much less hit a drum with a drumstick. I was frustrated and discouraged. However, I began to feel a little bit of hope; maybe I wasn’t done just yet.
I went to see Billy Talent in London (Ontario) in 2010 and then again just recently in 2013. Of course I wanted to hear the music, but I really wanted to see Aaron play live. That sense of awe hasn’t diminished in three years. The drums.
In 2011 I was participating in my local MS Walk with some friends when a guy wearing one of those red “I-have-MS” signs blew past us.
“Look at that guy,” I said to my friend,” he is running. Up a hill. Around people. And fast. Incredible.”
And so I began “collecting” stories of people with MS who are doing great things: creating art, making music, performing in plays, going to school, participating in sports, the list goes on. Your stories have given me hope and helped me move forward. Even when MS takes you in a different direction than the one you thought you’d go in, you are still doing amazing things. You are not done.
Obviously I am not going to play the drums in an arena full of people, but right now I can run. I am running 4k in my local MS Walk. I am also playing soccer this summer because even though I have MS, I am not done.