Growing up I was always happy, smiling and laughing. When I got diagnosed at 15 though, things changed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I became bitter. It wasn’t until twelve weeks ago, in fact, that I realized that I was angry. Throughout high school I kept it hidden behind SAT prep books and the quiet girl façade, but under the smile and kind ‘hello’ I was mad. I hid it so well that I didn’t even know it was there. All I remember feeling was shock
It took a life-shattering event to force me to deal with my anger. Twelve weeks ago my best friend in the whole wide world passed away. She was my first friend, my best friend, and my grandma. Her passing destroyed me. It wasn’t uncommon for me to end up sitting in the shower sobbing letting the water wash away my tears. I spent many nights trying to find clarity at the bottom of a bottle. I could feel the anger boil up inside me. Little things that I would normally shrug off made me very upset. My patience became non-existent. (more…)
grat·i·tude /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/ noun the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful:
Gift. Normally we think of happiness and gratitude when we think of receiving a gift. What I have learned, is that sometimes those reactions can be delayed. But when you learn to accept a gift with an open mind, gratitude eventually ensues, and your heart will begin to smile.
I am a newcomer in the world of MS. In fact, I basically still have a visitor’s pass, as I wait here in Limboland for the gates of MS to open. I have one clinical symptom, optic neuritis, and a stable brain MRI that shows two lesions. My major symptoms, other than optic neuritis, are MS fatigue, and numbness in my legs and feet. I experienced my first symptom of optic neuritis in July of 2013. As terrifying as it was, I remember feeling relieved. I had been seeing different doctors for years, feeling frustrated as I looked for answers to explain why I was feeling the way I was, and then finally, they were beginning to pay attention now that I had optic neuritis. Fast-forward two years later, and here I am still waiting, but now with patience and acceptance.
I have been lucky to have an amazing support system that surrounds me. One woman, in particular, changed my path early on in this journey. She asked me, “What is the gift in MS for you?” At first, my reaction was ‘What is she thinking…this is such an ignorant question’. But as she patiently waited for my response, my thinking quickly changed, and I realized, the gift in all of this, is that the possibility of MS has given me reason to put myself first. This was something that I had never done in the past. And ultimately, it has given me incredible strength.
From that day forward, I always try my best to remember what MS has given me: strength, focus, awareness of myself, and a passion to live life as it is now. Of course, there have been many days when I have felt anger and resentful to what I have been handed, but with the ability to change my thinking and remember the positives that MS is giving me, that anger and resentment quickly fades away. And in return, I grow stronger.
By the time you read this I will have completed my first 5Km run in years. Actually the picture I included was from my last 5Km and that was in 2011. I trained briefly about a year later but of course had to stop due to relapses.
So my relationship with running has been on again off again since my teenage years, of course relating to relapses. As a young teenager I did quite a bit of long distance running and then was told I would have to stop due to a relapse. Of course I don’t listen very well, so I waited until I recovered from the relapse, and started running again. I’ve done this more times then I can count and each time it gets a bit harder.
This time I decided to run in a fun run, in support of our local Children’s Hospital. I have a friend with preemies in the hospital so this seems like a great way to support her and get back to something I really love! (more…)
Hope everyone has been having a great summer. I had some exciting news that I wanted to share with everyone and provide some motivation to those just starting out their fundraising efforts :).
EVERY PENNY REALLY DOES HELP!!!
I was diagnosed 11 years ago, I was unable to participate in the MS walk my first year due to the stress and side effects I was going through with MS. It was also only a few weeks away and I was no where near ready for that.
The following year, so 10 years ago, we participated in the MS walk here in Saskatoon. I had secretly (and silently) set a team goal for myself … that in 10 years I wanted to raise $100,000.
Well … you guessed it … this year we raised just over $13,000 … meaning our team hit our goal … I am thrilled beyond thrilled … $104,000 in 10 years … my mind is blown!!!
YOU CAN DO IT .. you can help … every penny counts …
I find myself in a very different place in life these days. I am feeling less like I am just trying to get through just the next second, minute, hour or day. I have long drifted past those first terrifying few years post MS diagnosis. I finally have a solid treatment plan in place and I find I can look at more in my life than simply my next medical crisis. I definitely still have bad days, but I know they won’t last forever. I never thought I would get to that point. I never thought I would get to a point where the future didn’t create an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s a liberating feeling. (more…)
MS Family Camp 2017 registration is open! Family camp is a week of summer camp for a young person (age 0-18) diagnosed with MS and their family! For more information please visit our website.
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