Do you wake up every morning grateful that you can see? Or that your legs are going to support you? Or that your head is clear? Or that you slept well through the night? Or that you are not depressed?
These are things that MS can take away at a moments notice. And while I have been stable for a long time, I don’t know when or if my body is going to fail me in the mysterious ways that MS can creep up. I do know that this disease is auto-immune, which means it takes its own course, and as much as those things can be mere inconveniences, they can also be life changing.
Aside from some fatigue and headaches, in my case, the disease has stayed quite true to its name “hidden” nickname. I do consider myself lucky… I have seen this disease take far worse courses for people. They have permanent damage, permanent disability, permanent life changes. I do not want that for myself. I do not want that for my family — it would break my heart for them to be forced into caring for me in those ways.
But I’m one of the lucky ones. One of the people who can say that MS is a minor distraction and, for the most part, hasn’t taken over my life.
- I appreciate what the body can do more because of the disease.
- I push myself harder despite the disease.
- I strive to be a role model, not just for my children, but for anyone who is willing, because MS isn’t going to limit me.
- I have made choices in my life because I am human, not because I’m sick.
- I do not say I can’t because the disease is preventing me. If I cannot do something, I get to the true reason and don’t use MS as an excuse.
I am determined to make having MS part of my story — my legacy — not the center of my tale. I’d.be giving in, giving up and frankly, I’m just too stubborn for that!
- I want to help the MS community raise funds to find a cure.
- I want to continually raise awareness for the devastating effects of auto-immune diseases.
- I want to be part of the voice of change.
So, having MS has given me the ability to focus my life on how I can be the best from the inside out. I know what it’s like to have the rug pulled out from underneath you but I don’t dwell on it. Instead, it motivates me to keep on moving and doing and creating and experiencing.
Having MS reminds me that I need to eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, enjoy time with my kids, enjoy time with my husband, be adventurous, be kind and celebrate life.
Guess what? Those things, they aren’t exclusive to me. They are universal. They aren’t made for the healthy. They aren’t made for the weak. They aren’t made for the young. They aren’t made for the old. They are universal. Having MS has simply helped me to keep them at the forefront of the way I maneuver my way through life!