The Moment I Realized Things Could Get Worse

The Moment I Realized Things Could Get Worse

Life never lets me forget its fragility. Sometimes my challenges seem like mountains to be scaled. Adversity has become the elephant in the room; it is ever present even when I refuse to acknowledge it. A few weeks ago, I faced what could potentially have been a medical crisis. I had some routine tests done, and a couple of days later, I received a call telling me that my results were abnormal and I needed to have further exams.

Within seconds everything in my life seemed to change. I imagined the worst-case scenario. I try to occupy the mindset of hoping for the best. However, when we live with chronic illness, we are always waiting for the ax to drop. We feel haunted by the possibility of a new or worsening diagnosis. “What else is going to happen?” I asked myself. I was so upset that I screamed, “I just can’t take anything else.” I have wondered sometimes if things could get any worse. At that moment my inner voice bellowed “Yes!” I have an intense reaction to the words: “things could always be worse;” I’m often offered this phrase as a comfort, yet I find it to be almost offensive. This recent experience made me realize that things can get worse.

The intent of this week’s column is to remind you that this precious and fleeting life can change in the blink of an eye. I want to encourage you to live boldly in the moment because nothing stays the same.

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The day I received the call was an emotional roller coaster. I cried, worried, imagined, and prayed. I’ve heard that I can’t profess my faith and worry simultaneously. While this may be true in theory, in practice, I am human and so it was normal for me to feel anxious. I lamented my misfortune for the entire day; then I composed myself for the next day’s hospital visit. I had some tests done and received my results. Thankfully, nothing alarming showed up. I sighed with relief, prayed silently, and my spirit calmed. I have a follow-up appointment in six months. I am anxious about the visit because I understand what follow-ups indicate; I have been getting “follow-ups” my entire life. A part of me wonders when the clock will strike twelve. Then I push those thoughts out of my mind and listen instead to the words I tell others: “Live for today and appreciate this moment.”

Readers of this column will be aware that in addition to MS, I have congenital heart disease. I stand proud as a warrior and survivor. Recalling the challenging moments of my life helps me to realize that I am a fighter. I have written in a previous column that courage is sometimes silent. It rises amid the fear, and silently whispers “you are going to make it.” I cannot foresee my future but I know that I have a purpose. Every beat of my heart solidifies that. I am praying for the strength to continue to tread the tumultuous path of chronic illness and to endure.

As I “follow up” with my MS, heart disease, and other medical issues, my spirit confirms that I am blessed. I am living on borrowed time. My story was “supposed” to end long ago, but I have a greater life plan. Things can indeed get worse, so I will appreciate the good and bask in the mundane. I see everything as joy. Instead of dying a thousand deaths, I will live each day as it comes and pray for peace when my assignment is complete.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


  1. Diana Radford says:

    This is a beautiful article. It applies to all people. We are all a moment away from the unknown. We are human. We are imperfect but to look at life as a gift is a wonderful way to view each day. If we think of our passing and wish we could have one more day. Well that day could be any day. If I had one more breath to say I love you or one more opportunity to see you or hug you. It is a gift.

    • Teresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Diana,
      I appreciate your sentiment and I totally agree with you. Thanks for your encouraging feedback. I wish you the best.


  2. Lisa Jackson says:

    Thank you for the article, it was encouraging to know I am not alone. I am a 55 year old Christian Woman who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 21 and was never told it was an autoimmune disease then in 2008 I had a Stroke and then in 2009 was when I was diagnosed with my MS. My husband and I moved from Lincoln Nebraska to Missouri in 2014( I think, have memory issues with my MS) and when I started going to my new Family Practitioner he informed me that the diabetes and MS were both autoimmune disorders and that he would like to test me for other autoimmune diseases, what he found is that I also have Hypothyroidism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fatty Liver disease,
    Slow Digestion and Non-alcoholic Cyrosis and is testing me for other things due to problems with my stomach so I do understand the not knowing what’s next! For me I believe everything happens for a reason and we don’t always know what that is or why it has happened to us, we just have to believe God Has This! That is where Faith comes in, and no it’s not easy but in the end God has used us for his Purpose and he will be with us all the way!

    • Teresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for reading the column and for sharing your story. You are courageous and you’re not alone. There are many of us fighting the good fight. You have inspired me and I’m thankful to you. I agree that there is nothing that God and I can’t handle. Bless you.

  3. Alyssa says:

    Beautiful and inspiring! I found myself in part of your story. This life isn’t easy but it’s been worth fighting for.

    • Teresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Alyssa,
      Thanks so much!I believe we are all connected in some way. I also agree that life is difficult but indeed worth fighting for. Blessings upon blessings are wished for you.

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