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Posts Tagged ‘Multiple Sclerosis’

What MS Has Taught Me About Life

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

It was a year ago that I walked into my neurologist office to get results back from a MRI of my brain after a series of symptoms and tests. I went to the appointment alone as I thought the symptoms would pass and perhaps needed some temporary medicine. I sat across from the doctor as he scrolled and clicked the computer looking at my MRI. He looked up and said, “Your results show you possibly have Multiple Sclerosis.”  I didn’t hear anything else he said after that. My mind went blank, my hands shook, and tears rolled down my face.

He invited me to come over by him and said he wanted to show me the scan. I stood up and went over and saw an enlarged version of my brain on a computer screen. He explained that the scan showed white spots, known as lesions, at various parts of my brain. And given the number of lesions and the location as well as my symptoms, it was likely that I had Mild Multiple Sclerosis. I had to go for many more tests and see many more doctors for the next seven months to rule out other possible diagnoses. 

After several months of being poked and prodded, sent to various specialist and given a variety of health diagnoses, my test results proved to show Mild Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in May of this year. A part of me was relieved to finally know what I was dealing with and how to treat it. Another part of me was in shock (and still is) that I have this. 

My world has changed in so many ways. MS has required me to slow down and rest more. It has taught me the value of advocating for myself in the medical world — especially with doctors who dismiss symptoms or patients. It has made me feel vulnerable and show up in the world with an openness I never experienced before. It has taught me to ask for help and receive. It has taught me who can show up when I don’t feel well. Having MS has deepened some friendships and let go of others.

MS has taught me to continue to live life to its fullest. It has deepened my spiritual practices, opened my heart, and led me to discover feelings that have been buried for a long time.

MS has taught me a lot about life: No one doctor or diagnosis defines you. If there are friends who can’t deal with your illness or can’t be present for you, then seek friends who can. Find people who are aware and can show they care. Give yourself permission to have your emotions — all of them. Follow your heart and your divine light. You may not change your illness, but you can change how you relate to it. You can make choices that help you. You can empower yourself by finding doctors, healers, teachers, and supportive people who are willing to listen and witness you on your personal journey.

Do things that make you happy. That might mean meditating more, having a cup of tea, talking with people you love, getting a massage, forgiving yourself, starting and ending each day with gratitude, chanting/praying or tapping into a spiritual practice that feels right for you, and surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh. 

Having MS has taught me to participate in life more fully, lovingly, passionately, vulnerably, creatively, and spiritually. That doesn’t mean I still don’t get tired or sad. It means I embrace all of it and all of me.

Machu Picchu


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