31 Days of MS: The Uncertainty Helps Me to Take It a Day at a Time
Day 23 of 31
This is Feliciano Velazquez’s (@felicia.no) story:
I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS at the end of April 2020, right at the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, at age 21. I remember experiencing double vision and had a pretty bad case of anisocoria, or unequal eye pupil size.
I’m the type of guy who assumed it was nothing, and that going to the hospital was overkill. After three days in the hospital, an MRI, CT scan, and a spinal tap, the doctors were able to find four lesions in my brain, and successfully diagnosed me.
Since then, I started focusing on my health and what mattered most to me. I switched career paths, gave up red meat and dairy, developed a strong relationship with the gym, and picked up a new love for cooking.
Getting diagnosed with MS wasn’t an end-all, be-all sort of situation and has actually put me on the right track. The only caveat is having to take two pills every morning and night to prevent any relapses.
The biggest issues I’ve found with this newfound diagnosis is the irrational shame I feel at times whenever I have to fill out a form and must select the “medically-challenged” portion on employment forms or how others, such as family members and close friends, respond once they find out. I never knew I would feel guilty for this “invisible” illness that strikes without warning.
I used this invisibility as a way to negate coming to terms with the fact that I’d live with this for the rest of my life, but I have now found peace and acceptance through online groups, and others living with MS. The uncertainty about the progression of my illness inspires me to just take it a day at a time and not worry too much about it.
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.