My 2nd year with MS

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  • January 21, 2013 at 12:42 am #8520

    Tracey
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    Its been a while since I contributed to the site (sorry for disappearing for so long).  Life’s been busy and I’ve been battling digestive issues since the fall amongst a few other things.  I am happy to say that an ultra healthy diet (no artificial sugar for the last 1.7 months) and removal of a few food sensitives has improved a few things for me overall (although it doesn’t eliminate all the MS stuff).  In Oct/November, 2012 I reached my 2nd anniversary with MS.  Year 1 was difficult in many respects.  At the time of my diagnosis, I was fatigued and I didn’t know that I mentally had the strength to fight in any respect (all I wanted to do was sleep).  Learning to manage everything alone was overwhelming and I found that the health professionals I asked for help sent me in directions that were not so helpful which further contributed to frustration.  I also had to learn about acceptance and that this disease was a huge life changer in many respects –I gave up things like strenuous weight training 3X a week and crazy gym workouts, and started new things like yoga and spent much time self-assessing how I was going to manage these changes (figuring out my life priorities).  During this time, I started to appreciate all the good things in my life and everything slowed down in some respect –life looks different after MS and that change wasn’t a bad thing.  A few people impacted my life during this time–for those people, I will be forever grateful  for their attempts at helping me through a difficult period.   I still appreciate the hugs that they provided when I didn’t ask for them.  Friends, in general, have been extremely important for me as a means of support.

    In year 2, I’ve attempted to reclaim a few things I gave up initially, like xcountry skiing and spending time doing active things outside.  In the present, I am loving the winter outdoors–I’d love to do a back country ski trip but I’m unsure how to manage my medications in the cold weather since they cannot freeze and I need to take them daily.  I guess the change for me has been my speed, duration and the rest period afterward (I am slower, I don’t push myself as hard–finding a balance of output energy, sometimes my duration is shorter and I need a longer recovery period afterward).  I also sot out  professional help to talk through a few things relating to my diagnosis.  This was extremely helpful in giving me a bit of a different perspective to some of the things I was feeling (I recommend this to anyone who is struggling).  The diagnosis did not make me angry but I became very hard on myself because I wasn’t completing tasks in the same way.  I love my career and I’ve focused on being happy in the present day with my life even if its small things on a given day when all else is difficult.   I seem to manage the eye pain better these days and I can generally focus through it -Yoga 2X a week has been extremely helpful to me for using breath as a means to manage pain.  Yoga in general has been a great new activity in my life since MS, as it helps me with the slowing down, the philosophies are good for mental strength and it helps me build overall body strength.   My medication is working the best it can 🙂 although I still experience issues like the eye pain, headaches amongst other things (certainly doesn’t stop my experiences completely although the brain lesions are reduced by 50%).  I went  through a month where I forgot a few peoples names (that I knew my whole life which is why I noticed).  I wrote a comprehensive examination for my PhD while experiencing a MS relapse of sorts (4 months of eye tremors) and passed even though it was hard to concentrate and read during this time.   I am amazed at my successes sometimes while moving forward with all the extra MS stuff –its slowed me down but eventually I do achieve my goals.  Life is getting back to a close “normal” as its gonna get in the present day –it didn’t feel like this was going to happen for me in the beginning so for this I am grateful.  I’ve continued to travel to remote areas of the Arctic as part of my research (figured out the medication challenges)- not saying its been easy all the time because I certainly have difficult periods.  I hate that I cannot be as flexible as I want to be with food, often sleep and general active things in life.  This one is bothering me as of late— I’ve had to say No way more than normal.  I wonder what the universe has in store for me in the future because its still hard sometimes to manage everything MS related when no one else around me is experiencing the additive bonus of this disease in their life.  I work hard not to complain too much about it–the pain and discomfort.  I’ve been open with people around me about my MS –If I can accept it and be OK then their discomfort isn’t my issue.  When things get me down, I try to remember the good things in my life that I need to appreciate.

    I know that everyone’s experience with MS is different.  I hope this provides perspective to someone who is recently diagnosed.  Its a hard hill to climb at first but gets better as time goes by —my new normal is a good positive place even with MS.  T

     

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