I am a January baby. I was born in 1986 during a cold winter in Canada. Seriously, is there any other kind?! My mama’s due date was in December but I decided that didn’t work for me. Clearly I was a procrastinator even in the womb. It’s been 27 years and nothing has changed. I get things done, but usually at the last minute. I start my Christmas shopping months in advance in the hopes that I have everything completed by the time it arrives. Inevitably, there are still the last minutes shopping runs on Christmas Eve. I am just fine with my procrastinator label, most of the time. The one place I don’t think I am a procrastinator is when it comes to my MS.
I learned I had a definite MS diagnosis on December 29, 2006. It was less than a month before my twenty-first birthday. I had been exhibiting MS symptoms long before the formal diagnosis, but it was still a blow to learn the exact cause of those symptoms. Like many, the path to my diagnosis was long and difficult. MS doesn’t have a definitive test. It’s not as simple as having a blood test performed. I had many frustrating days where I just needed an answer and I wasn’t getting it. It felt like there were an endless number of hoops that needed to be jumped through.
In the end I received my diagnosis and the hard decisions began. There is no room for procrastinating when making MS decision. You have to make a plan that best aligns with your life and gain as much information as possible. There is no doubt that these things are daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes the information you gather creates fear, sometimes it’s complicated and contradictory information. However, there is power in educating yourself about the disease you are now up against.
It took me a long time to come into my own and feel confident in the decisions I was making. I was floundering in a sea of decisions that needed to be made. It’s like being the new kid at a school that has its own playground rules. You don’t fit in at first. You feel awkward and out of place. Eventually though, you learn the rules of the playground and you find your place in the hierarchy. I think the downside is that most MS decisions to be made are not small ones. They are decisions that have consequences and potential long term ramifications. I didn’t feel like there was a chance to tip my toes in the pond. I was jumping head first into the deep end of a never ending water space; there was no time for procrastination.
I have learned in the past 7 years to keep current on MS research. I try and keep an open mind and I have learned not to regret any past decisions I have made. I made the best decisions with the information I had at the time. Reliving those decisions doesn’t do any good. They have already been made and I need to move forward. Each decision is a learning experience, be it bad or good. In my personal experience I find that I cannot procrastinate in making MS decisions. When I reach a decision, I have to move forward with it. If I prolong moving forward with my decisions I can get into a back and forth headspace. Even though I know in my heart I made the right decision for me, it can make me second guess myself. I am not perfect; I am guilty of second guessing my decisions at times. Sometimes I talk about them with family or friends and will change my initial decisions. Despite that I still eventually come to the decision I feel is best for my situation. I don’t think anyone makes the right decisions all the time. I don’t think we get it right every time. All you can do is try your best!
With that my friends, I will bid you adieu and settle back into my procrastinator label. Christmas is on its way and I have some important matters that I need to put off until the last minute!