Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is never something you expect to happen. When you are young you are invincible, as you get older, you learn the disappointing truth. An when you are diagnosed with a devastating illness, such as multiple sclerosis, you start asking the powers that be, “why me?”
Interestingly, when I was officially diagnoses with multiple sclerosis January 2008, my question never was, “why me?” My question was, “What’s next doc?” I really do think my neurologist was knocked off guard when I didn’t fall to pieces. I am pretty sure he was all ready for it, but, that just wasn’t my response. Let me give you a little of the back story…….
About 18 months earlier I was in an ATV accident. We were in the middle of nowhere, at the top of a mountain, somewhere in West Virginia. I made a huge rookie mistake and stopped in the middle of a steep hill. When I started to accelerate i didn’t put enough forward weight on the handle bars and I went down…..my choice was to jump off, and go off the side of a mountain, or fall straight back and pray the ATV didn’t land directly on top of me. Well….my prayers were sort of answered. The ATV landed off to the side and bruised the heck out of my arm, and when i fell back I hit my helmet on a rock. I ended up with whipped lash and a huge bruise on my arm. Thank goodness for helmets.
Following the ATV accident was the onset of many of my MS symptoms. Intermittent numbness and tingling, not feeling my leg. At one point I couldn’t type or use a mouse for several hours. For me the symptoms didn’t freak me out as much as they provided me with a problem to solve. I know it sounds crazy, but my first reaction is, what is going on. That is where my research side swung into full gear. By the time I was officially diagnosed with MS, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me. Based on all my test results I had read and all my symptoms, as a non-doctor, it was the most logical conclusion. So when my neurologist dropped the bombshell, that is why I didn’t freak out like other may have.
Please don’t miss understand, it has still been a huge adjustment. I still have to accept many of the changes that MS has thrown onto me. And by no means, has it been easy. But as many of my closest friends and family know, I am a survivor, I am tenacious, and giving up has never been an option for me.
I hear some people say that their illness has been a blessing in their lives, I am not sure I am ready to take it to that level, but I will say, since I have been diagnosed, I haven’t had much time to worry about the things I can’t do. I have a wonderful little girl that keeps me getting up every morning, I have an extremely supportive husband. And over the last several years, I have been surrounding myself will the most awesomest group of mentors, cheerleaders and supporters anyone could ask for. These are the important people in my life that makes me get up every morning.
Lately I have been trying to figure out what my purpose is. Although I am trying to listen, the only thing that keeps coming of is “help.” I haven’t figured out what it means. i don’t know if I missed the meaning or maybe I am not listening well enough. Whatever the reason, I am at least helping. I am always volunteering my time at school, at church, i help friends and family with computer needs, I have been helping a couple local businesses revamp their websites, I have been volunteered for a couple of projects as well.
I take things one day at a time, maybe if I have a lot going on, a week at a time, but none the less, I concentrate on the “now!” And I try very hard to make it worth while. It is not always easy. But my darling, smart, beautiful little Abigail, certainly makes it easier!!!