If That Day Comes
Life is tough. You get thrown curve ball after curve ball, and when you first start to play the game, you might get a black eye, a broken bone or knocked down. You get so frustrated because you just can’t play like everyone else.
Then one day, you dodge the ball. You catch it and throw it right back. Even if you do it your own way, you manage to play.
That’s a lot like multiple sclerosis for me. I was diagnosed in April 2017. I was diagnosed about a week after losing my vision. To make things more complicated? I was in my second semester of nursing school, 2 weeks shy of finishing the semester. Already being a licensed practical nurse, I knew the textbook definition of MS.
With that being said, do you know what the first thing was that popped in my head upon diagnosis? A wheelchair.
When I was first diagnosed, I became depressed. Millions of questions filled my mind. Will I ever see again? Why can’t I remember much of anything? Can I still be a good mom to my boys?
I was horrified. Being in the healthcare profession, I had taken care of some people who had this disease. One really came to mind; a man in his 40s. Unable to speak, walk, feed himself or even reposition himself.
“I’m in his shoes now. This is my fate.” I kept telling myself over and over.
The steroid I was given to hopefully fix my vision had made me feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin. Food tasted terrible. Not to mention, it made me feel like I only knew what was in my bubble and nothing else. I was paranoid. It was the type of confusion that I had to question where my own bedroom was in my own house.
What did I possibly do to deserve this? How did this happen to me?
I woke up one day and realized, nothing has really changed. I just have a faulty immune system. This isn’t the end. I am 23 years old, I have a whole life ahead of me. This new diagnosis isn’t going to define me.
I miraculously finished off the semester of nursing school.
I began adjusting to life with MS. I quit hiding from it and started educating myself. With my own research, I found comfort. The textbook definition I once knew was bogus. Not everyone with MS is going to end up in a wheelchair. Not everyone is going to experience blindness. As a matter of fact, no two people with MS will have the same path.
Who knows? Maybe this will be my only relapse for the next 40 years. Medicine has come such a long way in the MS community.
With all this considered, why should I feel depressed? Why should I be worried? I’m fine today, and that’s all that matters. You just have to take life day by day and burn bridges when you come to them when it comes to MS.
Everyone with MS has a chronic disease that has no cure (yet). Yes, it’s possible I may wake up one day blind in an eye. I may not be able to feel my fingers tomorrow, or I might just end up in that wheelchair one day. But until that day, I’ll keep striving toward my goals and living life, one day at a time. If a day does come when my disability shows, I’ll handle it then. Not just for me, but for my family, and anyone else who needs me. We are warriors.
An activist in the U.K. discusses the challenges that the Black MS community faces here… Read More