31 Days of MS: I Do My Best to Be Strong

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Pamela Neckameyer

Photo courtesy of Pamela Neckameyer

Day 16 of 31

This is Pamela Neckameyer’s story:

My symptoms started in 2004. I would trip and fall for no reason. My mind would say “walk” but my legs wouldn’t move for a few seconds. I went to a neurologist who tested my blood to rule out other diseases. Every test came back non-conclusive. Finally, after seeing numerous neurologists, I was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

I try really hard to accept my MS disability and not complain, and I do my very best to not bring other people down by my situation. I live as normally as I can, joining in with my friends and family by participating in celebrations, outings, and events. When necessary, I am supportive to all who are sick or going through a crisis. But I’m not like others. I can’t dress and shower without help, or drive anymore. I’m unable to shop, cook, go on walks, and do so many things that I used to on my own.

Intellectually, I know there are many more serious illnesses than MS and I feel grateful that it is not life-threatening, but it can be frustrating. I used to run a business, entertain, travel on my own, and do so many everyday activities that I took for granted.

Forgive me if you think I’m complaining. I’m not. I’m just explaining. I don’t feel sorry for myself and don’t want others to feel sorry for me.

Sometimes, though, I just have to explain what it is like to have a chronic autoimmune illness like MS. Being so dependent can play with one’s psyche, but I endeavor to stay strong, going to physical therapy and doing what my doctors advise.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.