For so long, I have kept this under wraps. It was something I just didn’t like talking about. I was all set with the “Aww, I’m sorry” reaction that was almost inevitable. Then I realized…I may actually be able to help others. So, here it goes…
I have MS. I…HAVE…MS. It actually feels pretty good to say out loud. LOL.
When I was 25, after an entire day/night at OzFest, I came home to my apartment surrounded by firetrucks and emergency vehicles. In my altered state of mind I was asking “Wheres the fire?” LOL! Of course, you probably figured out that it was MY apartment that was totally gutted by flames. UGGH!! About a week later, from waist down I was all tingly and numby. Yup! You guessed it…the doctors told me I officially have Multiple Sclerosis and the stress from losing everything I owned was the trigger.
At first, I wasn’t sure what this disease was and I wasn’t sure why my mom was so upset. I just kept doing everything I always did…karate, hiking, working out whenever and however I wanted. One day, less than a year later, when I went to my karate class, my instructor introduced me to a new student, Jess. She was cool…I helped her out during her first class…then, while we were getting changed, she asked me how I found out I had MS. Wha-what?! How’d she know?! Well, I guess the look on my face said exactly that and she began to tell me how she was diagnosed about 3months ago when she lost strength in her hands. She actually laughed a little when she was explaining how she couldn’t even hold a pencil. HOLY MOLY!! That’s what MS is?!?! I could lose abilities?! Oh my gosh…soo many questions started rushing through my head. Why did I just feel numby and she couldn’t snap her fingers? And we have the same thing? How could she be so positive when I, all of a sudden, was so scared? Could that happen to me? What about walking? Jumping? OMG! This is bad.
As I was having this little meltdown in my head, she was still talking about how she runs, hikes, goes to the gym and is just as active as I am with no problems. We became BEST friends immediately!
Jess and I biked together, hiked, took classes at the gym, partied, everything. Never too focused on that one common monkey, rather spider monkey(small and unassuming, but could cause havoc) on our backs. We weren’t in denial….we just both decided, together, we would concentrate on what we want to do and what made us happy instead of the dizziness and exhaustion we felt on a really humid day or any of the other negative aspects of MS we could have a total bitch fest about. Of course, we would talk about how we felt, but then just kinda joke about it and move on. Our motto was…acknowledge, accept and keep moving.
Now 16 years later and the only lingering effect is heavy numbness in my legs…heightened by activity. For instance, when I start to exercise, my legs feel heavy and uncomfortable, but I fight through it and it goes away. Positivity has healing powers.
MS comes in all shapes and sizes…ALL are difficult to get through and keep a positive attitude about. But think about this…
Jess has since moved to Colorado and is doing GREAT! We are still there for each other, as much as we can be. But nothing is better than having someone to talk with who understands what you’re going through. REALLY understands. We always push each other through and keep moving forward. We gave and still give each other strength and positivity when, individually, positive thoughts are hard to muster up.
I would like to be that positive voice for you. Let me help motivate you, think positively and get… you… moving, whatever your limitations. I have learned that staying active helps maintain mobility and staying positive helps the body heal.
Lets do this together!!