Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have MS, but MS doesn't have me!

So it's taken me weeks, perhaps even months to actually sit and write this post. I want to say that I do not write this in search of sympathy; I write this so that people can understand MS and maybe so I can be an inspiration to those that may find inspiration in hearing about someone's journey.

Recently people have been asking me how I'm feeling. My answer is always "I feel great!" or "I feel so much better than I did after I had Nicholas!"  I say this because I have finally lost all of my baby weight (and then a few pounds) and I'm eating as "clean" as I can and the introduction of Shakeology to my diet has been phenomenal in so many ways, but his post is not about Shakeology. It is not about my diet really either. It is about finding strength when you don't think you can. 

When people ask me how I'm feeling, I guess I sometimes wish that they didn't "have to" ask that question. Typically, you don't ask someone "how are you feeling?", you ask them "how is your day going?" or "how are you?" not "how are you feeling?"  And, please don't get me wrong, I love that I have such wonderful people in my life that ask me and are concerned, but sometimes the "woe is me" attitude creeps up on me and I get upset that I have this condition that warrants people asking me that question; "how are you feeling?" Sometimes I just want to go back to the day before I was diagnosed and go about life thinking I'm perfectly fine.

The answer to the question "how are you feeling" is that I truly feel the healthiest I have ever felt in my life. I'm giving the big middle finger (so to speak) to MS. I feel the richest in love and the richest in blessings that I have ever my. life. I have "control" over my body to the point that I DO control what I put into my mouth. I DO control the fact that I can either be lazy and sit on the couch and not do my workout OR I GET UP, and simply get moving...NO EXCUSES.

What I don't have complete control over is my nervous system. My symptoms are currently that my left hand is tingly/numb. It feels like it would feel if you slept on it and it fell asleep. It feels like that...all. day. long. I am hoping and praying that this is a symptoms that goes away, which often does happen.  Also, every so often, I will see large floating orb type thingies in my left eye...everything is on the left right now.

The question I want to take medication? The answer right now and always has been simple. No. I don't take Tylenol for a headache, I didn't have an epidural for labor and I don't want meds for the MS. Think I'm crazy? Well, perhaps, but to me, taking the meds is giving in to the MS and I will NOT let MS control me nor will I let it win at this point. It has taken enough tears from my eyes and it will NOT take anything more. Additionally, if Matt and I decide to have another child, we (and the doctors) do not want meds in my system before that happens.

So, I will be going for 3 MRI's in a few weeks (July 15th and 18th) to see if I have any new active lesions. If I do not (which is the ideal situation) I will go about my business. If I do, I will go through 5 days of 1 hour sessions of steroid treatments to help settle down the nerves and settle down the symptoms.  In either case, I will not be doing meds because of the baby reason I mentioned.

So, how am I going to "deal" with these symptoms and this disease?
  • I am going to stand steadfast in knowing that "it could be worse; much worse!" I was told when I was first diagnosed that I "should be in a wheelchair given the amount of lesions they found". Let me tell you that this will NOT happen; not for as long as I can help it.
  • I will continue to thank the good Lord for all of my blessings!! I have an amazing husband who stands by me and supports me, an incredible son who I would not know what I would do without, a mother, father and brother who I would also not know how to live without, extended family and friends who are there through THICK and THIN regardless of anything that happens, I have a home, a great job (or 3 lol) and the list goes on and on.
  • And then...I will run a half marathon this Sunday and kick my time from last August's half marathon out of the water
  • And then...I will have these stinkin' MRI's on the 15th and 18th and regardless of what they say...
  • I will THEN ride my bike 150 miles for MS research the next weekend and help raise needed funds to PREVENT this disease from taking anyone else by surprise!
THAT'S what I'm going to do about this 1 card life has dealt me. 

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter will use funds collected from the Cape Cod Getaway to not only support research for a world free of MS, but also to provide programs that address the needs of people living with MS today. Because we can end this disease by simply riding a bike, because we have chosen to help thousands of people through a contribution to the Bike MS Ride, we are now getting closer to the hour when no one will have to hear the words, "You have MS."...because when I heard those words I fell to my knees, but I was able to get back up. I'm riding for those who can't!

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"


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